Inici » Volunteering: An Enriching Exchange

Volunteering: An Enriching Exchange


The Generosity of the Elderly in Spain

In the Spanish social fabric, the elderly population occupies a significant place, with almost 20% of people over 65 years of age. This group, which currently resides in a considerable number of residences, is expected to increase its presence in these centers in the coming years.

Vanessa Borrego: An Exceptional Volunteer

Vanessa Borrego, a 48-year-old woman, exemplifies the spirit of volunteering in Seville. Devoting her time to the residents of the San Juan de Dios nursing home, Vanessa combines her work as a mother, financial manager, flamenco fan and delegate of her children’s water polo teams.

Their motivation for volunteering is based on the desire to help, feel useful and share with those who need it most. Vanessa states: ‘I receive more from people than I give. It is continuous learning and an opportunity to learn about unique personal stories and diverse circumstances.’

Vanessa has instilled in her children the importance of volunteering since their childhood. ‘When they were younger, they accompanied me to activities. Now, my youngest daughter still comes with me when she can and she really enjoys it,’ she says.

The Diversity of Volunteer Activities

Vanessa has participated in a wide range of volunteer activities through the CaixaBank Volunteer Association. From accompanying children to the cinema to explaining activities about olive oil, attending basketball games with diverse groups, participating in recycling initiatives and taking older people to the theater or the opera.

The Impact on Seniors

Currently, Vanessa dedicates two Wednesdays a month to the San Juan de Dios nursing home. One of those sessions is dedicated to celebrating residents’ birthdays, creating an atmosphere of joy and excitement.

Vanessa describes: ‘We play music for them and dance pasodobles. I learned a lot from them. Many do not have family and express their need for visits and their gratitude for our presence. They love to chat and share stories from their youth.’

On the other Wednesday of the month, Vanessa and the residents go to the cinema to watch a comedy film, giving them a moment of laughter and entertainment. ‘They tell us that they have a lot of fun and are very excited to go out. They dress in their best clothes and really enjoy the ride,’ she points out.

Vanessa emphasizes: ‘Volunteering is an enriching exchange. Entering the residence and seeing their faces light up when they see us fills the heart. They even kiss us like we’re his family!’

Vanessa shares a special anecdote: ‘I am very happy to see Charo, a resident,’s face when I show her the bracelet she gave me. It’s a precious moment. We talk to them, they advise us to enjoy life and remind us that in their times there were fewer comforts and that life goes by very quickly. It’s a special day for them and for us.’

The Impact of Volunteering in Society

Vanessa Borrego is one of the 17,240 CaixaBank volunteers who, in 2023, participated in actions that benefited 372,669 people in vulnerable situations throughout Spain.

For Vanessa, volunteering gives her a deep sense of purpose: ‘What gives me the most is feeling useful to other people and the joy of seeing them happy and discovering new things.’

During the ‘Social Month’ of May, CaixaBank organizes nearly 2,700 solidarity activities throughout Spain. These initiatives, which cover areas such as support, education, digitalization, the environment, culture and sports, are carried out in collaboration with local social entities.

All those interested in participating in volunteering can register for the activities through the CaixaBank Volunteering website.

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