REAL Services volunteers provide nutrition, self-sufficiency, education, and protection for 30,000 people in Northern Indiana each year.
REAL Services seeks to add quality to the lives of its clients, while supporting their ability to live independently for as long as possible. We hope that here you'll discover and partake in a fulfilling opportunity to serve others.
By volunteering as a Grocery Shopper, you can provide seniors with the groceries and toiletries they need but can no longer procure on their own. In this role, you will pick up a client’s grocery list and payment, purchase their groceries at an agreed-upon store, and then transport and unload the groceries at the client’s home. This position is ideal for individuals or families who have time to do a bit of extra shopping.
REAL Services often fields requests from clients for particular item(s) which they are unable to obtain on their own or through other community resources. To meet these needs, REAL Services receives community donations and collaborates with local organizations that might be able to fill the requests. Once the item has been received, clients require the service of a volunteer who will then deliver that item to their home. Because this service provides specifically requested items, each volunteer opportunity is generally a one-time occurrence.
Elves for Elders
The holiday season can be a lonely time for seniors, as some may not have anyone to share it with. REAL Services’ Elves for Elders program ensures that these individuals are not forgotten during the holidays, by sending volunteers to visit seniors and provide companionship and cheer.
Through its Adult Guardianship Services Program, REAL Services offers legal care and protection to seniors who are unable to make their own financial and medical decisions and have no one to serve in this capacity on their behalf. To enhance the seniors' quality of life, volunteers from the community serve as Guardian Volunteer Advocates (GVAs) for individuals. As a GVA, you will do more than just visit a client—you will serve as their personal advocate, monitoring their care and ensuring that they’re getting the treatment and support that they need.
Handyperson projects vary depending on the needs of the client and can range from changing a light bulb to fixing a leaky faucet. After completing a volunteer orientation, Handyperson volunteers will be contacted when a prospective project is available. Interested volunteers will be asked to assess their ability to handle any given project, and will only be sent to jobs they feel comfortable doing. Clients are responsible for providing needed tools and supplies for every project.
REAL Services’ Health Education program offers workshops for older adults with chronic conditions, providing them with tools and tips to better manage these conditions and lead healthier lives. As a volunteer, you and a co-leader will facilitate these workshops. Aspiring leaders must first become certified by attending four six-hour days of training, as well as co-leading one workshop as trainees. Workshops take place once a week for six weeks, for a maximum of 2.5 hours each time, and leaders must be available at least twice per year to lead workshops and maintain their certification.
REAL Services clients that already receive in-home services may need additional assistance with housekeeping tasks, which they may be unable to complete themselves. Housekeeping volunteers generally complete a one-time project per client, and the program is great for individuals, families, or groups who feel comfortable cleaning and organizing.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels (MOW) presents a great volunteer opportunity for anyone with free time during the lunch hour! As a volunteer for MOW, you will provide healthy meals to homebound adults by delivering meals directly to their houses in the South Bend/Mishawaka area.
Office and Clerical Projects
Seasonal and Group Projects