Contributions of Older Volunteers Honored this Week

Senior Corps Week – May 7 through 11 – celebrates the work of older adults throughout the country who volunteer their time through Senior Corps, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Senior Corps and Americorps are both Corporation for National and Community Service programs; and both tap the time and talents of older adults to serve their communities in a variety of ways.  Whether its serving seniors, veterans or school age children, older volunteers give extraordinary amounts of their time and talents to enriching our communities.

Experience Corps volunteer

Experience Corps volunteer

According to data from the Corporation for National and Community Service, 18.7 million older adults – nearly a quarter of those 55 and older – contributed on average more than three billion hours of service in their communities per year between 2008 and 2010. The yearly economic benefit of this service to the nation equals more than $64 billion.

Says Wendy Spencer, CEO of Corporation for National and Community Service, “At a time of increased need and declining resources, volunteers age 55 and over are stepping in to fill the gaps. Today, more than ever, communities need the talents and skills of all Americans to help move this nation forward. Senior Corps volunteers are delivering enormous social and economic benefits to our communities and demonstrating that service is good for the nation and those who serve.”

At AARP, we collaborate with the Corporation for National and Community Service through our Experience Corps program, which provides reading literacy tutors/mentors to children age kindergarten through third grade in at-risk urban communities in 19 communities throughout the country.  These volunteers play a powerful role in the lives of children, helping the students they work with improve their reading literacy by up to 60%, while giving them role models and strengthening the fabric of the communities in which they serve.

For more on volunteer opportunities through groups like the Corporation for National and Community Service, visit AARP’s CreatetheGood and AARP Experience Corps.