SPRINGFIELD, Mo — 25 retirees graduated from a unique program in Springfield. It’s being called civil matchmaking, but it requires a little more commitment and work than most matching services.
Participants go through a five-week training, checking out different charities in the area until they find their perfect match.
On Thursday evening, 25 retirees walked up received a plaque and a certificate, and took a picture with Mayor Ken McClure, making official their completion of Give 5. Now, instead of sharing their hopes and dreams for the future, this group will be sharing their knowledge and skills with their community.
Give 5 is a 5-week program during which the retirees visit nonprofits, learn about them and in the end decide which one they want to be a volunteer with. But most of them, picked more than one.
“Convoy of Hope, The Dream Center, and the Greene County Library,” said Curt McNay.
Some have been paired up with so many organizations, it can be hard to keep up with.
“Well darn, I have them all right here,” said Colin Brady, as he pulled out a folder with the list of charities he had chosen.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, Convoy of Hope. And Salvation Army, did I say that?”
“I’m going to work with the library, and Isabel’s House, and Catholic Charities, Council of Churches, and Convoy of Hope,” said Mary Chiles”. “Oh and with the Salvation Army, I’ve always wanted to be a bell ringer, so I’m going to ring a bell.”
Chiles and McNay have some kind of connection to these charities.
“One of my daughters has worked with Convoy of Hope so I knew a lot about that,” McNay said.
“I was thinking about Isabel’s house; I’m a mother of seven kids and a former teacher, and I just want to maybe rock somebody, and read to somebody or just kinda give some of those things back,” said Chiles.
They will be giving a lot of their time, but Brady says they’ve gained something too.
“It’s the connection with the people, the 25 or so people that are in class, too,” he said.
This was the second give five class to graduate. The next class will begin in July. Registration is already open.