Before we know it, the holiday season will be here. Many of us will gather with friends and family to share memories and give thanks. No matter how we choose to come together, something about this time of year sparks generosity.
There are many ways to give. But, one of the most valuable things you can offer is your time. Volunteers are essential for ensuring that all members of our community are safe, healthy, and happy this season.
No matter where you live, your community probably has a diverse list of needs. This allows you to choose a volunteer activity that fits your interests. Whether you enjoy working with youth, cooking, being outdoors, etc., you will likely find a way to give back that you enjoy.
Have you considered volunteering? Now is a great time to get involved with volunteer activities in your community!
Finding a volunteer opportunity that is right for you can be as simple as searching the internet. You may also want to check your newspaper or contact local nonprofits. If you have friends or family members who volunteer, consider joining them.
If you are 55 years or older, you can double your impact as an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer. This national program is a great way to make a noticeable difference while meeting people in your neighborhood.
What is AmeriCorps Seniors?
AmeriCorps Seniors is the nation’s largest volunteer network for people 55 and older. The program is an opportunity for older adults to make a difference for Americans, starting in their own communities.
Organizations across the United States facilitate AmeriCorps Seniors programs. For example, VANTAGE Aging operates AmeriCorps Seniors in seven Ohio counties, including Delaware, Franklin, Geauga, Hamilton, Medina, Summit, and Wayne Counties. The organizations work as a central hub for community organizations and volunteers to connect. Volunteers express their interests and availability. Then, they are matched with the best-fitting organization.
AmeriCorps Seniors offers convenience. Because the national program is a network, those involved do not have to work hard to find opportunities. People who want to volunteer can easily find enjoyable activities, and community agencies can easily find volunteers who care about their mission.
What opportunities are available to AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers?
The opportunities available to AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers depend on the needs of the community. Any nonprofit organization can become a part of the AmeriCorps Seniors network. To access volunteers, the organization must contact the AmeriCorps Seniors program for their area.
If a person or group already volunteer for a nonprofit, they can simply sign up as AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers and continue the work they are already doing.
If a person or group wants to begin volunteering, they can contact the AmeriCorps Seniors program in their area to find opportunities.
AmeriCorps Seniors designates specific focus areas based on community needs. For example, VANTAGE AmeriCorps Seniors focuses on these areas:
- Healthy futures
- Environmental stewardship
- Economic opportunities
- Capacity building
- Senior isolation
If your volunteer activity does not fit into one of these categories, that’s OK. You can still sign up to be an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer. Anyone 55 years or older is welcome to join!
We hope you can join us this fall with a cause you are passionate about. While volunteering is a lot of fun, it also impacts the lives of so many people!