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Volunteers are critical

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) wishes to take this opportunity to recognize the ongoing efforts of RSVP volunteers as they provide a variety of services helping communities.

For more than four decades, Senior Corps volunteers have used their lifetime of skills and experience to meet community needs. Today, more than 330,000 volunteers age 55 and older are serving through Senior Corps’ programs.

While helping others, older volunteers also are helping themselves by living active, healthy lives through volunteering. Research shows there are mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations.

Locally and nationally, RSVP volunteers enable tens of thousands of frail and elderly adults to live independently in their own homes by transporting them to medical appointments, shopping for groceries, assisting with bills, assisting with small home repairs, and offering respite to caregivers.

Senior Corps Week, which was last week, celebrates the powerful impact of 55-plus 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 and strengthening civic participation.

If you are interested in getting involved? Contact me at 800-339-3200 or email ddanitz@seniorservicesassoc.org.

Deborah Danitz

McHenry

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