Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Celebrating Senior Corps Week

This week (September 20-24) the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is celebrating the extraordinary impact of older adults through the first-ever Senior Corps Week! CNCS’s Senior Corps program provides service opportunities for adults age 55 and older to engage in activities that benefit community members of all ages. With the theme “Making a Difference for Generations,” Senior Corps Week highlights the powerful impact of 55+ volunteers and inspires others to get involved. The initiative recognizes that service by older Americans benefits everyone – it helps volunteers by keeping them active, healthy, and engaged; it helps our communities to have millions more skilled volunteers; and it helps our nation by saving taxpayer dollars, reducing healthcare costs, and strengthening civic participation.

As the 78 million Baby Boomers near retirement age, it is important to invest in intergenerational programs that utilize the experience and wisdom of older adults to strengthen our communities, and our country. “Older Americans bring a lifetime of skills and experience as parents, workers, and citizens that can be tapped to meet challenges in our communities,” said Dr. Erwin Tan, a board certified geriatrician and recently appointed Director of Senior Corps. “Given the many social needs facing our communities – and the growing interest in service by 55+ Americans – this is a moment of unprecedented need and opportunity for our programs.”

In a time of serious economic and social challenges, nearly 500,000 volunteers age 55+ are serving through Senior Corps' three programs – Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions. These individuals contributed more than 98 million hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $2 billion in 2009. Generations United is pleased to join in celebrating the impact of older adults in our communities and schools.

To read more about intergenerational service opportunities, check out our fact sheet on the Kennedy Serve America Act.

For more information on Senior Corps or ways to get involved, please visit NationalService.gov.

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