The Takeaway: Boomer Volunteers Needed

250-volunteer-boomers

I admit it-I hear boomers and "volunteers" together, I think Jefferson Airplane (my boomer dad taught me classic rock well). But, alas, this is not a post about Jefferson Airplane. This is a post about how community charities in America-soup kitchens, school programs, etc.-could use more volunteers, and they're calling on the boomer generation to step up.

Boomers are attractive volunteers, and it's not just the sheer strength of their numbers - 77 million. They are living longer. They are more educated than previous generations. And, especially appealing: They bring well-honed skills and years of real-world work and life experience.


As more boomers transition from full-time employment to "retirement"-whatever that may mean these days-charities see an opportunity to capitalize on some of their newfound free time, according to the Associated Press. And  Erwin Tan, head of Senior Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service (a federal agency that helps connect Americans to service jobs and volunteer opportunities), said nonprofits have been making changes to attract more boomer volunteers. This might mean offering more skills-based volunteer opportunities or allowing for more flexibility in terms of hours or work locations ('tele-volunteering?').

Boomers are already a civic-minded bunch-nearly 22 million, or about a third of boomers, volunteered in their communities in 2010. But the percentage of boomers volunteering these days is on the decline, according to CNCS figures. Of those that do volunteer, religion-based opportunities are the most popular, followed by volunteering in education, social service and hospitals.

Want to explore volunteer opportunities in your area? Check out AARP's "Create the Good" program

Wednesday Quick Hits: 

  • Gladys Knight was sent home after this week's Dancing With the Stars. "OK, so Gladys may not have been the best dancer in this season's program (darn those Pips for never letting her bust a move!)," writes Los Angeles Times' Allyssa Lee. "Whatever. She was such a great, effortlessly cool, life-affirming presence on the show."
  • "There is not a real place for people between 60 and 80," said actress Isabella Rossellini, just shy of her 60th birthday. Rossellini is currently promoting the film Late Bloomers, about an aging architect (William Hurt) and his wife.

Photo: Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
August 03, 2011 11:34 AM
Helen Mirren takes the crown again. The sexiest woman over 50 has a new title: Best body. According to an L.A. Fitness poll, the 66-year-old was named female celebrity with the best body - beating Elle "The Body" MacPherson, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Winslet and Pippa Middleton. But we already knew this.
July 15, 2011 09:05 AM
Casey Anthony confession video? Beware: If you come across a link promising a video of Casey Anthony confessing to killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, you should pass. It's a fake. Or more specifically, it's a scam. The link, showing up all over Facebook, reads:
July 08, 2011 09:12 AM
In case you missed this yesterday: AARP CEO Barry Rand released a statement Thursday in response to a report in the Washington Post that the White House was open to making cuts in programs such as Social Security and Medicare to reach an agreement with Republicans before the August 2 deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling. More ... Is America getting fatter? Yes, according to a new state-by-state study. In the last year, the percentage of obese adults increased in 16 states. Not one state saw a decrease, says a joint report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ... We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the passing of football legend John Mackey. The former Baltimore Colts tight end, 69, died Wednesday after struggling with dementia for 10 years. After witnessing the difficulty Mackey and his wife encountered paying for medical costs associated with his illness, the NFL created the 88 Plan. Named for Mackey's jersey number, the plan provides up to $88,000 a year for nursing home care (outpatients get $50,000 per year) for retired players battling dementia or Alzheimer's disease.