Giving back with Senior Corps: How to get involved

Nov 4, 2011, 11:53 a.m.

For almost fifty years, Senior Corps has been connecting seniors with citizens and organizations that need their experience, expertise and unique skills. With Senior Corps, any citizen over 55 years of age can undergo training to become a coach, companion or mentor, or can contribute his or her skills to a community project or organization. In return for between 15 and 40 hours of volunteering for Senior Corps, participants receive insurance and a small stipend for the hours they work.

RSVP places volunteers in service opportunities that are a good match for their skills. Opportunities include building homes, environmental work and immunizing children, to name but a few.The Foster Grandparent Program connects volunteers with special needs children and young adults. These vulnerable young people may be physically or mentally impaired, have a history of abuse, or have suffered another trauma. Foster Grandparents provide caring support and guidance that the children don't receive anywhere else.The Senior Companion Program connects volunteers with seniors in their communities who need assistance with daily tasks or simply with living. Sick or physically impaired people, as well as terminally ill patients and their caregivers benefit from the volunteers' help and company.

To get involved, simply go to the Senior Corps website and fill out the simple online form to search for an opportunity. You'll see listings you can review and respond to if you think you're a good match. You can also call Senior Corps at 1-800-942-2677 for more information about its programs.

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