Around the nation, older adults make their marks every day as volunteers, employees, employers, parents, grandparents, mentors, and advocates. They offer their time, talents, and experience to the benefit of our communities.
For 57 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been a special time to recognize these contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM also provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and materials to help communities support and celebrate their citizens.
This year’s OAM theme, Make Your Mark, highlights older adults’ unique and lasting contributions to their communities—everything from sharing a story with grandchildren to leaving a legacy of community action. In the spirit of this theme, here are a few ways to make your mark this May and all year long:
Volunteer your time. Local community organizations always need support. Now more than ever, many individuals are in need of help as a result of the corona crisis. Find ways to help a neighbor while maintaining social distancing. Or, take time to pass on your knowledge virtually.
Share your story. There are so many ways to do this, from video chatting with your grandkids to writing a book. Take an online class and learn how to express yourself with the arts! Or, assemble a photo album of important moments in your life.
Get involved in your neighborhood. While we may not be able to meet in person right now, you still might be able to join a homeowner or resident association or sign up for a virtual social group. Have a green thumb? Small projects like planting flowers in your yard or making cards for residents at nursing home facilities have a big impact.
Communities that support and include all their members are stronger! Please join VANTAGE Aging in strengthening our community – show us your #MakeYourMark moment on social media, volunteer with Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio, or donate items such as PPE (homemade masks are great!), pet food, or even cash to help us continue serving our most vulnerable seniors.