Volunteer/ REAP


“One Person CAN Make A Difference” 


In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and comply with the mandates of Federal, State and local government agencies, the Brookline Senior Center (BSC) has been closed. 

Since it is uncertain as to when we will be able to safely begin hosting our special or ongoing programs at the Center, we have been working to develop a list of online programming options with some of our regular group facilitators, as well as with some of your favorite performers and presenters. Please remember that these “virtual” programs are new to everyone so there will be glitches, but we hope that you will continue to give the online programming options a try. 

In addition, we have been able to restart a modified lunch program through Springwell. This is a Grab n Go hot lunch collected by participants outside the Senior Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

We realize that there are lots of questions regarding our reopening and we appreciate your patience during this uncertain time. Please feel free to leave your questions on our voicemail or to submit your questions to info@brooklineseniorcenter.org. Many of you may have the same questions so we hope to address some of them in future editions of the newsletter. 

We hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and well in the days ahead and we look forward to celebrating with you all when we are able to safely reopen the Senior Center. Thank you for your patience as we balance remote and in-office work schedules. You may still contact me by phone (617 730 2743) or by e-mail pburns@brooklinema.gov. I check my mail and voicemail several times each workday and will reply as soon as possible. For non-volunteer issues please call the main BSC numbers – 617 730 2770 or 617 730 2777 and leave a message. 


Springwell Home Delivery Meals on Wheels’ Drivers

 Springwell is an essential part of the social safety net for thousands of older adults each year, and we are continuing to provide the services that are helping them stay safe and in their homes during this challenging time. 

At this time, Springwell is seeking volunteers who are willing to provide home delivery of meals. Springwell especially needs volunteers who can work in the towns of Belmont, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, and Waltham. If you: are interested in receiving training and support to help us reach vulnerable seniors with critical in-home meals; have a reliable car, a current driver’s license, and a clean driving record; are available between 10:00 am -1:00 pm; are able to provide these services, consistent with guidance we receive from the CDC, WHO and other governmental agencies, recognizing you may come into contact with high-risk members of our community and others; and are successfully able to meet the regulatory pre-requisites for the position, please contact us! Email volunteer@springwell.com or go online and apply to volunteer at https://springwell.com/volunteer/ 

Town of Brookline – To be contacted for various volunteer jobs, please email COVIDVolunteer@BrooklineMA.gov 


We continue to conduct our modified Food Commodity program outside the Senior Center due to COVID-19. Participants pick up their food at specified appointment times wearing masks and maintaining strict social distancing. The September distribution (September 16th) will be conducted in the same way. 


Any low income senior over 60 wishing to participate in the program to receive 35 pounds of shelf stable food on the 3 rd Wednesday of each month should call Patricia @ 617 730 2743 or email her @ pburns@brooklinema.gov. 


The Council on Aging is always concerned about the food security of our seniors. However, during the past 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been even more aware that some of our seniors are having food INsecurity issues. Thanks to all seniors who completed and submitted their surveys. Survey results will be in the October newsletter and are used for budget and fundraising efforts. 


September 27th, 2020: Due to the COVID-19 virus and because our health and safety are top priorities, this year’s Alzheimer’s walk will not be a large in-person gathering. It will be A DIFERENT WALK FOR THE SAME REASONS! This year the walk is EVERYWHERE – on every sidewalk or in every hallway or park! We encourage you to walk with a family member or friend in your neighborhood practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. While the Senior Center will not be sponsoring our usual walk team, we are no less committed to finding a cure for this terrible disease that affects so many of our seniors. We encourage you to donate as you can to the Alzheimer’s Association for a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Donate online at walk@alz.org/donate or send a check to: The Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., FL 17, Chicago, IL 60601. 


Attention Chess Lovers! While we cannot get together to play in person, we have an opportunity for chess lovers to play virtual games on their computers or IPADS. Please let Patricia, the Volunteer Coordinator know if you are interested, pburns@brooklinema.gov or leave a voicemail on 617 730 2743. 


Photo and blurb in the Brookline TAB in November about Brookline High School senior and SHOP Student Coordinator Sidonie Brown receiving award and scholarship from the MIT Age Lab for her inter-generational work with the SHOP program. Visit from Global Service Learning Programme of Northern Ireland, September, 2019. We hope to host their high school students in the NI Education AuthorityYouth Services: Boston Study Visit next summer for a day of cultural exchange. Interview from Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio regarding how to set up a SHOP program; Article TAB July 2019 re: Lincoln School Graduating 8 th Graders at the Brookline Senior Center; Article re: 2019 John & Molly Dolan Awards with photo of Brookline Bank executives receiving the CommunityPartner Award was featured on the 1 st & 4 th pages of the Brookline TAB on April 25th 2019. The Brookline Senior Center Alzheimer’s Walk Team photo and blurb were featured on the Your News page of the Brookline TAB on September 27.The Brookline Senior Center Food Pantry along with Springwell and the Brookline Food Pantry were filmed in June for airing on Brookline cable’s (BIG) Age Friendly City series. The topic of this episode is Food Insecurity in Brookline. The program can be viewed on: http://www.brooklinecan.org/index.html#TV and http://www.brooklinecan.org/agefriendly.html#TV. The SHOP Program between Brookline High School and Brookline Senior Center was featured on Boston 25 News on Thursday, February 22. The link to see the feature story can be found at https://t.co/9zECVvJDEd . The Brookline Senior Center Alzheimer’s Walk Team photo and blurb were featured on the Your News page of the Brookline TAB on September 28. Ruthann was quoted in a recent article in the Commonwealth Magazine (http://CommonwealthMagazine.org/economy). Brookline shared an article with the Chicopee COA in the October issue of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medex quarterly publication, Healthy Times. Brookline Senior Center intergenerational volunteers were spotlighted on Wednesday, March 29 on BIG, the local TV channel. If you missed it, you can find the ½ hour program link on the BCAN website or on the BIG Facebook page https://youtu.be/iDDCgi8vKCk. Patricia also updates the volunteer pages of the Town and BSC websites and contributes to the BCAN Volunteer page monthly. She urges everyone to check these websites (www.brooklineseniorcenter.org/, www.brooklinema.gov/) and http://www.brooklinecan.org/. Brookline Senior Center volunteers were featured in an article in the April, 2016 issue of the fiftyplus advocate entitled Volunteering: A Work of Heart at the Brookline Senior Center. The article can be found on line at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com. 


SHINE: Open Enrollment for Medicare supplemental insurance will open soon! Call the main number of the Senior Center (617 730 2777) and leave your name and number and someone will get back to you to schedule an appointment. 

SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with Councils on Aging and other aging service access points. SHINE helps people on Medicare and seniors new to Medicare understand complex insurance options. SHINE volunteer counselors educate and provide unbiased help to choose an insurance program best for the individual. 

SHINE trains counselors in a 2 days/week - 6 week course. Meetings to get support and meet with other counselors occur monthly. Once certified, you will be assigned to work 6 hours per week in a senior center or other public setting. If you are interested in becoming a certified counselor, call Dorene Nemeth, MetroWest Regional SHINE Director: 781 455 7555, ext. 202. 


The VIBRANT program is offering virtual group classes and individual technology training to introduce various access technology programs and how to use them. Topics include an introduction to Zoom meetings, helpful reading applications, navigating ridesharing services, and much more! To get more information or request an appointment call Rachel Castle at 617-608-4150 or email rcastle@mabcommunity.org MASS COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND: Help a visually impaired person by reading or shopping with them. No special skills needed. Call Kyle Robidoux, Director of Volunteer Support Services, Mass Commission for the Blind – 617 926 4312. 

BROOKLINE’S EMERGENCY FOOD BANK: The Brookline Food Pantry continues to be in need of donations of canned tuna, canned chicken, rice, cereal, lentils, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, and SHELF STABLE milk or juice. 

REAP Retirement Engagement Alternatives Program 

The REAP program for Brookline senior residents 55 or 60 and above (depending on the program) is designed for people who wish to remain engaged and active in the community while in retirement or partial retirement. The goal of this program is to enhance the retirement experience by linking participants with either part-time paid or volunteer work in the community or at the (BSC) itself. The BSC partners with several other local organizations to offer fulfilling and interesting opportunities. These include, but are not limited to: BrooklineCAN (BCAN), Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Brookline Adult and Community Education, Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Various Brookline Town departments. In addition, opportunities exist for Tax Work-Off, and limited grant funded employment at the BSC for income qualified Brookline residents. The REAP program provides the following free services: individual, confidential and free consultation around skills and interests, on-going skills based workshops and training for employment seekers, employer-employee matching service, consultation and matching for participants seeking meaningful volunteer opportunities and on-going opportunities to network and explore avenues and options for self-fulfillment in the retirement years. To enroll or for more information, call 617 730 2767 or email Deidre at dwaxman@brooklinema.gov 

Brookline Seniors – Boomers & Beyond - are eligible to receive free individual help with resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles as well as tips on phone, skype, in-person and mock interviews. To schedule an appointment, call Patricia at 617 730 2743 or email her at pburns@brooklinema.gov