August 21 is National Senior Citizen Day. Created by President Reagan and Congress in 1988, the purpose of the day is to highlight ways to show gratitude to America’s senior citizens. One way to show older adults that we appreciate their contributions to our society is to volunteer, either alongside them or through projects designed to make life better for them.
The next time you are signing up to volunteer, think about a retiree you know. Could they volunteer with you? Volunteering is an important part of an active, healthy lifestyle, especially as we age. As I wrote in this blog, there are a range of studies that consistently demonstrate that there is a significant relationship between volunteering and good health, in addition to the social benefits brought about by volunteering.
United Ways offer a variety of opportunities to volunteer with or on behalf of seniors. On June 21, United Way Day of Action, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County rallied volunteers to help sort food and prepare boxes of meals for seniors at the San Antonio Food Bank. Volunteers packed 34,800 pounds of food, equivalent to 27,188 meals for seniors. Also for Day of Action, United Way of Brazoria County kicked off its eighth annual “Cool Deal Fan Club,” collecting fans and air conditioners to provide to seniors and others at risk during the hot summer months.
You can help a senior create an emergency plan and kit in the event of disaster, visit a nursing home or assisted living facility, deliver meals to homebound seniors and much more on National Senior Citizen Day and beyond. GenerationOn has more good ideas for how you and your family can help older adults in your community.
I hope you’ll celebrate seniors on August 21, and find other days to help seniors keep contributing to your community. We’d love to hear about your ideas and projects for promoting the spirit of volunteering at any age.