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Family Files

Get Into the Act: The Value of Volunteerism


"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

The value of volunteerism for older adults is two-fold.

First is the value to society.  According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (which oversees AmeriCorps and SeniorCorp) 20.7 million adults ages 55 and over contributed more than 3.3 billion hours of service to their communities, valued at $75 billion in 2014.

Second is the value to the older volunteers themselves.  There is an ever-expanding body of research that show that older adults who volunteer have lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations.

Since Illinois declared 2015 as the Year of the Volunteer, now is the time to "Get Into the Act."  Volunteer opportunities abound in every community.  Some places to contact to learn about possible volunteer activities are local churches, social service agencies, and  area chambers of commerce.