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(Family Traits) — At this time of the year, the weather is warmer and the days are longer, so there is always a lot to celebrate and commemorate.

May is also Older Persons Month, a time to celebrate the contributions that older people have made to our country. This year’s theme, “Aging Unbound,” promotes the independence, fulfillment, and joy that older Americans can experience by choosing their own path as they age.

Rather than letting age define their situation, aging Americans are embracing change, pushing boundaries and transforming their communities through creativity, dedication, and service.

As the first stop for those seeking volunteer opportunities, AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors connect individuals and organizations through service and volunteering. AmeriCorps Seniors offers Americans 55 and older the opportunity to improve their communities through the contributions of their time, passion, skills and experience.

“AmeriCorps Seniors is made for people 55 and older,” said Atalaya Sergi, Director of AmeriCorps Seniors. “This provides a space for seniors to take charge of their own ‘second act’ and spend their time in valuable and impactful ways. Our volunteers all share the goal of making a difference in their communities, and many see their participation as an opportunity to make friends and make meaningful connections. “

More than 140,000 Americans are matched with volunteer opportunities each year through three programs: RSVP, the Grandparents Program, and the Senior Companion Program.

Consider the following ways older people can participate in their communities.

Respond to community needs

With over 115,000 volunteers, RSVP is the largest of the program. The program partners with national, state and local organizations to provide volunteers with a wide range of service opportunities, from building homes to delivering food.

“Everyone you meet while volunteering will tell you their stories and experiences,” says RSVP Program Volunteer Srinis Srinivas. “It’s so rewarding and life-enriching. Doing this service is a way of paying it forward.”

act as a mentor

For seniors interested in working with children, the Foster Grandparents Program combines volunteering with local schools and other child-focused programs to care for and collaborate with classes, groups, or individual students. are doing

“My motto is ‘Never never, you can always achieve something’.” ,” said Priscilla Tseslikai, who has been a volunteer since 2016. they. “

extend a helping hand to other elderly people

Developing relationships with other seniors is also a rewarding and necessary option. Volunteers who serve in the Senior Companion Program give about 20 hours each week to help with everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, getting to appointments, paying bills, and helping older people who need companionship. spend time.

Volunteer Carmen Swanson said, “Volunteering changed me. It keeps me grounded.” “Life is enriched when you help others and do things for others. My favorite part is being available to them and being of service to them. , whatever it is that I want to accomplish, if I can do the task, follow it to the end, and achieve it, then my day is good.”

It may mean different things to different people, but this year’s theme for Older People’s Month, ‘Aging Unhindered’, is one umbrella that can and should be empowered by aging. showing emotional feelings.

For more information and to find volunteer opportunities near you, visit AmeriCorps.gov/YourMoment.

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