In the Spring and Summer, the SHINE Program holds training classes to prepare new volunteers to join the ranks of the esteemed people known as SHINE Counselors. Our screening process starts with the candidate filling out a Volunteer Application. You may request this from the Regional SHINE Office in person, or by calling (413) 750-2893. The Regional Director will review the completed application and if you are a good fit, schedule an interview. The interview will give you an opportunity to share why you are interested in volunteering with the SHINE Program, as well as, a time for the Director to find out more about you. It is an informal conversation and nothing to worry about. If both parties agree that SHINE is a great program for them, you will be placed in the next class.
The Volunteer Training is made up of 12 in-class training days to learn about all parts of Medicare, the Medicare Website, Masshealth, Drug Plans, Health insurance supplement plans, Medicare Fraud, and lots more! Once the class is over, there is an exam and you receive a state certification. New volunteers are paired with experienced counselors to shadow and mentor for about 4 weeks until the new volunteers are ready to be on their own. Your counseling location will be decided on by the Regional Director, with your input.
We are looking for counselors who can speak different languages to assist those seniors who have a language barrier. We are also looking for volunteers of color and diverse backgrounds. A volunteer should have good people skills, transportation, and be computer literate. You will use our computers in the offices, however, you may need to do some internet work at home too to assist seniors.
A new training class will be scheduled for 2019. Hope you would like to join us!
Irene Kenison, SHINE Outreach worker, training our new Volunteer class on how to do Insurance Plan searches for clients. We will be able to add 13 new volunteers to our SHINE team once the 2 spring classes have finished training.
When I knew retirement after 30 years in Human Resources was right around the corner for me, I asked myself “What Next?”. I wanted to do something that made a difference in people’s lives. I enrolled in the training for SHINE volunteer and there has been no looking back. The training was professional, thorough and interesting. I have had the honor of assisting people of diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds as they navigated the Medicare supplement world. Assisting individuals with MassHealth so that they can stay in their homes and/or that their skilled nursing facility fiscal issues were addressed has been very rewarding. Having a Regional Director available to assist with challenging issues or to just confirm decisions is invaluable. Working with other SHINE volunteers and sharing ideas and cases is stimulating. Whether volunteering at a Council on Aging or an Aging Services Access Point being a SHINE Volunteer makes you part of a caring, compassionate community bettering the lives and lessening the concerns of many.