Want to use your skills? We’re seeking SHINE volunteers
February 14, 2022
Joan Hatem-Roy, CEO

Thinking about learning how to use your skills to help people? We are seeking volunteers for our Medicare counseling program SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone on or eligible for Medicare).

SHINE counselors can explain Medicare options, help compare costs and benefits, explain the enrollment process, and help people apply for extra help and savings programs. There is no cost for residents with Medicare or who are about to enroll.

To become a certified counselor, volunteers attend a comprehensive training once a year, are mentored by veteran counselors, and attend monthly meetings.

SHINE counseling has been a rewarding opportunity for Marylou Fierro of Ipswich, who looked for volunteer work that could make use of her analytical skills. SHINE was the right fit and she’s been volunteering eight years.

“I know why people have been volunteering for 20 years,” she says. “Once you start, why would you stop?”

Fred Baumert, a realtor from Westford, enjoys SHINE counseling because it’s volunteer work that doesn’t involve physical exertion and presents the opportunity to learn and help people. “It’s very rewarding to see people leave satisfied,” says Baumert, who has been a volunteer for 13 years.

Long-time volunteer Karen Murphy of Newburyport sums up her role as a SHINE counselor simply, “We demystify Medicare.”

For anyone who is interested in learning more, AgeSpan is hosting a Zoom information session on Thursday, March 10 at 10 a.m. Volunteer training starts in April. Contact the SHINE Program at 800-892-0890 or visit:

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