The Beauty of Retirement: Duet Volunteer, Dennis Parker, Reflects on 13 Years of Service

“When I first started volunteering, they [Duet’s neighbors] were older than me. Now they’re younger than me.”

Retired Duet volunteer, Dennis Parker

There’s more to retirement than Arizona sunsets. For retired Duet volunteer, Dennis Parker, there’s no better way to truly appreciate the beauty of Arizona than to volunteer in your local community. Be it Sedona, Arizona, or central Phoenix, there is purpose, meaning, and beauty for your life to be found in the vibrant conversations exchanged with neighbors—especially when extending a helping hand (or ride).

Dennis has volunteered for Duet for 13 years. In that time, he has given 190 rides to homebound adults who can no longer drive to medical appointments and the grocery store for shopping. He has logged hundreds of volunteer hours and gone above and beyond, often waiting for his neighbor in a doctor’s waiting room “just because it’s the right thing to do.” Dennis credits his mother for instilling the importance of volunteerism, “it’s just something that I think you should do. Just kind of being a good human being, right?”

This 86-year-old retiree spent most of his life on the east coast in Delaware and Washington, D.C. working in service to the federal government investigating how the government spends taxpayer dollars. When the allure of Arizona sunsets and weather was too much to ignore, he secured his retirement in Sedona for several years before migrating to the “big city” of Phoenix in 2007. A Duet workshop about Wills and Trusts introduced Dennis to the organization, and the huge need for volunteers.

As a volunteer, you benefit from a myriad of opportunities to share life experiences with one another. Dennis recalls one 90-year-old Duet neighbor who had a 1975 Cadillac parked in her carport collecting cobwebs. Being a car buff, Dennis knew the value of that car and encouraged her to sell it before it deteriorated beyond restoration. A week later, the car was gone, sold to a neighbor and one less worry for her to manage. “I think they [neighbors receiving Duet’s services] appreciate what it is I’m doing for them. They are always extremely appreciative.”

Retirement is not just about enjoying the sunset, but also about finding purpose and beauty in serving others. Dennis’ selfless actions have not only made a difference in the lives of homebound adults but have also enriched his own life with gratitude and fulfillment. You too can make a profound impact by helping an isolated homebound adult living in your neighborhood remain independent for just a few hours a month. Register today for an upcoming volunteer orientation to learn more.



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