As the Senior Volunteer People, and thanks to our recent co-generational work, we are helping folks from all walks of life find purpose. What better way to start the new year than by helping isolated seniors, struggling students, disheartened Veterans, and hungry families? By volunteering, you aren’t just solving community challenges, you are building the social connections vital for human survival.
In fact, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a public health epidemic. Did you know that there are more adults in the United States struggling with loneliness than have diabetes? Dr. Murthy reminds us that loneliness impacts not only mental health but physical health as well, and can even increase chronic illnesses. He found that the mortality impact of loneliness is greater than that of smoking 15 cigarettes a day, obesity, and substance abuse disorders.
How do we tackle the loneliness monster? Volunteering. Service to others is one of the most powerful ways to combat isolation. Volunteers develop camaraderie among their fellow volunteers as they work side by side to solve community challenges. Programs like TelePals, Health Buddies, and Senior Companions help volunteers fight back against loneliness in their own life while providing friendship to an isolated senior.
We’ve also been making new strides to combat loneliness and build connections. Our Kindred Spirits club in Sun City Center brings together widowed women who are dedicated to friendship, laughter, and compassion for one another. These amazing women meet for monthly outings and in the new year were handed a Social Happenings calendar and a yellow ribbon to wear. This helps them find each other at events, sparks conversation with others, and helps them never feel alone. Their smiling faces below speak for themselves.
-Robin Ingles, CEO
The Mabel & Ellsworth Simmons Charitable Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to provide social connection and support for seniors through TelePals, Senior
Companions, Health Buddies, and our New South Shore Community Clubs.