Volunteer and give back.
Volunteers are the backbone of SAGE. Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to offer many of the programs and services that are so important to enriching the lives of LGBTQ+ older people.
SAGE offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, including Friendly Visiting, SAGEConnect and other ad hoc volunteer opportunities such as meal service, event support, and front desk supervision. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAGEConnect, which launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, pairs volunteers with SAGE participants for weekly phone calls. For more information about SAGEConnect, please click here.
Many older adults face the risk of social isolation, but this risk is even more pronounced for LGBTQ+ older people. LGBTQ+ elders are twice as likely to live alone, twice as likely to be single, and 3 to 4 times less likely to have children, compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Homebound or neighborhood-bound LGBTQ+ older adults can often have little weekly contact with the outside other than visits with health professionals, and virtually no contact with members of the LGBTQ+ community.
A solution: Friendly visiting programs are a proven way to alleviate this isolation and rebuild communities across generations. The SAGE Friendly Visitor program, founded in 1979 and the first of its kind in the U.S., matches volunteers from the community with LGBT older adults (“Friends at Home”) to form relationships that are mutually rewarding and build community. All Friends at Home are SAGE clients and are seen by a social worker. When someone calls asking for SAGE’s help (either the client, a friend, relative, neighbor or other service provider), a SAGE staff person or social worker visits the home for an initial assessment. Friendly Visitor referrals are made with the client’s consent. SAGE then matches the client with a Friendly Visitor.
How It Works: Friendly Visitor volunteers are carefully screened and fully trained. Those who become Friendly Visitors have made a commitment to at least one year of involvement with the client. They visit once a week for an hour or two and make calls between visits. They also attend supportive and educational meetings every other month.
Interested in becoming a Friendly Visitor? In recent months, Friendly Visiting has seen a large influx of volunteers. At the moment, we are currently not accepting new volunteer applications. Please check back, as we will reopen our volunteer applications when spots are available. If you are an LGBTQ+ elder in NYC interested in receiving Friendly Visiting Services, please call 212-741-2247, or email our Program Manager at FriendlyVisitorNYC@sageusa.org.
Interested in in leading a program at a SAGE Center? As the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older people, SAGE is committed to providing our participants with the highest quality programming. Our goal is to ensure that all adults are able to age actively and healthfully in their own communities. Fill out our programming proposal form and get involved!