3 Ways to Celebrate Older Americans Month at Your Nonprofit

Guest post by Amanda Marr, VP of Communications, LeadingAge.

Older Americans "Get Into the Act" By Volunteering for Older Americans MonthSeniors engage with their communities in many important and meaningful ways, including volunteerism. Did you know that more than 20 million senior volunteers give nearly 3 billion hours of service annually, at a value of $67 billion?

This May, we’re taking time to celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM) by recognizing older Americans for their contributions to the nation. Want to join us?

This year’s OAM theme is “Get into the Act.” It aims to bring attention to how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and having a positive impact on the lives of others.

Here are some ideas on how your nonprofit can celebrate OAM:

Get more seniors involved.
Seniors are capable of more than we often give them credit for! Have volunteer opportunities at your organization that can be filled by seniors? Consider coordinating transportation to and from a volunteer event with nursing homes or residences to increase participation. Vary the activities from month to month to keep them engaged and involved.

Get to know your senior volunteers.
Senior volunteers have a lot to offer and often, a lot of experiences to share. Ask them to share their stories of why they volunteer, and the path that brought them to where they are. Bonus: Telling these stories might help you bring more volunteers to your organization!

Show your appreciation.
Already engage older volunteers? Show them how important they are! Give them a shout out in your newsletter, on social media, at your staff meetings, or during a volunteer activity. A little recognition can go a long way for keeping volunteers engaged and happy.

Want to do more?

Help spread the word about OAM. Join LeadingAge in celebrating by printing out one of our “Get into the Act” signs and posting pictures or videos of you holding the sign at your volunteer event with the hashtag #OAM15.

Together, we can make the high senior volunteer rates even higher, and help senior volunteers feel like the special people they are.

LeadingAge is an association of not-for-profit aging service providers committed to expanding the world of possibilities for aging through education, advocacy, and applied research. Follow their Facebook page to see how others are joining in and appreciating older Americans for all that they do!

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