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National Volunteer Month



At Sagora Senior Living we are constantly creating new experiences to engage our residents and find exciting ways to showcase our amazing communities and how we truly embrace each moment we create together! April is National Volunteer month, and we want to be sure to thank those who give so much of their time and talent to our communities but also showcase ways that seniors can get involved and volunteer!


National Volunteer Month celebrates the impact volunteers have on our lives and encourages active volunteerism in generations to come. Most often unpaid, they generously donate a part of their lives to do the work that nobody else likes to do — cleaning up after an event, fostering shelter dogs, and helping others; there are so many areas requiring volunteers. This month, we salute our volunteers for their unwavering services to our communities and hold aloft their examples to inspire others towards volunteerism.


History of National Volunteer Month


For generations, special people have been willing to stand up and lend a helping hand by volunteering their time and talents. But you may wonder where the history of National Volunteer Month started.


Volunteers are so special that they ought to be honored throughout the year, after every service that they volunteer to. National Volunteer Month is an extension to an already-established holiday-week, National Volunteer Week that was first held in 1943 in Canada. The week was dedicated to paying tribute to the unwavering contributions of women during World War II who would collect supplies and help the wounded soldiers. It was in the early 20th century that organized volunteering reached its peak. Numerous groups opened up to escalate humanitarian services, many of which are still active today such as the Red Cross.


Once the war was over, the celebrations were damped down but resurged in the early 1970s. National Volunteer Week debuted in 1974 in the United States and was revered by the general public. Since then, National Volunteer Week, which later went on to become National Volunteer Month, has been celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm every April. It was made official worldwide in 1990.


Presidents of the United States throughout the years have proclaimed National Volunteer Week and Month, saluting the unparalleled services of the volunteers who have given countless hours for the betterment of mankind, communities, and the American way of life.


How to Observe National Volunteer Month


Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. They pick a cause and make a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes the difference is a drop in the bucket. Other times it creates a tidal wave of change. From the anonymous volunteers who donate their resources to those whose efforts are part of larger national organizations like 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, or American Red Cross or a local grassroots group, their missions provide valuable support to communities in times of need.


Here are some great ways to honor those who do so much through volunteerism:


  •        Thank a volunteer

A simple show of appreciation goes a long way for those who give so much.


  •        Throw an appreciation volunteers’ party

They truly deserve the honor. Plan a party for all the volunteers and be sure they are not volunteering at their own event!


  •        Celebrate it on social media

Whether you are volunteering this month or remembering some great volunteers of the past (and present), share pictures and tell your story using the hashtag #NationalVolunteerMonth.


  •        Volunteer with an organization

You don’t have to have a ton of time, just a few hours a month can make a big difference. Do you have a special talent or skill that may benefit a charity or organization? Offer your services or ask how you can be of help. Be sure to volunteer! Many volunteers will tell you it is a very rewarding experience.



Volunteer Opportunities for Older Adults


There’s a variety of meaningful volunteer opportunities for older adults to try. From teaching virtual classes to assembling houses, there’s a volunteer opportunity out there that suits everyone. Consider the ideas below as your starting point.


Senior Corps

Senior Corps volunteer opportunities are open to adults ages 55 and older. If you volunteer with Senior Corps, you can choose from opportunities with varying time commitments and requirements and serve to a capacity that suits your lifestyle. Opportunities range from visiting older adults at home for companionship to mentoring students in a classroom setting.


Local or National Charities

It’s likely that a wide variety of charities in your backyard could use your support, such as:


  •        Habitat for Humanity
    This organization offers a variety of women-centered and veteran-centered opportunities, from homebuilding to restoration to helping support the charity’s retail stores.
  •        Feeding America
    Locate a food bank in your area and assist with administrative (clerical) duties, bagging, food selection and more.
  •        The Alzheimer’s Association
    With many local chapters, this association offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, such as organizing walks, promoting education, completing data entry tasks and campaigning for increased awareness and action.


Food Delivery Services

Founded in Philadelphia in 1954, Meals on Wheels helps deliver food to older adults in need in most U.S. communities. The organization has more than 5,000 locations nationwide and a strong base of 2 million volunteers who help those in need access important nutrition without leaving their houses. You can volunteer during your lunch hour as often or as little as you would like.


Animal Shelters

The Humane Society of America hosts volunteer opportunities nationwide, which can include:

  •        Providing direct care or companionship to animals
  •        Being a policy leader for your local organization
  •        Offering phone support to help people cast their votes for pro-animal legislation


Foster Grandparent Programs

Serving as a foster grandparent is a rewarding and meaningful opportunity to give back to your community. These types of volunteer opportunities consist of educating, mentoring and caring for children in need in your area.


AmeriCorps likely has a foster grandparent component of its larger volunteer network in your community. Meanwhile, churches or other houses of faith in your area might also facilitate foster grandparent programs.


Community Gardens

Your local community garden may be able to use your green thumb if you can spare some time.


Community garden volunteering opportunities can include:

  •        Seed packing
  •        Creating tomato cages
  •        General garden maintenance
  •        Providing expertise in marketing, operations, logistics and event planning


Local School Support, Training, and Mentoring

Your local schools may be looking for volunteers to:


  •        Meet with students for lunch or other activities
  •        Help teachers in their classrooms
  •        Tutor children in specific subject areas
  •        Chaperone field trips

    Mentoring younger students or young adults is a great way to get involved as well. Especially if they are interested in your professional field or a hobby that you enjoy.



Health Benefits of Volunteering

There are a number of reasons to consider volunteering, including increasing your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.


A 2020 data review in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine observed almost 13,000 participants of the Health and Retirement Study and found if someone volunteered for at least 100 hours per year (less than two hours a week) for four years, they experienced:

  •        Reduced risk of mortality
  •        Reduced risk of physical functioning limitations
  •        Increased amounts of physical activity
  •        Better psychosocial outcomes, such as increased optimism or a stronger sense of purpose in life
  •        Help prevent social isolation



“As more people retire, there’s a void of skills and expertise based on a lifetime of experience. This collective knowledge needs to be harnessed to add value to the economy and to foster productivity in organizations and build better communities for us all,” says Dan Levitt, a gerontologist based in Vancouver. “People often define themselves by their profession. What you do for others tells others what is important to you and how you make a difference in their lives. People who are engaged in their communities at older ages live longer and remain healthier physically and mentally,” he adds.


Regardless of which path you choose; volunteering is a versatile opportunity that can help you expand upon your existing interests and passions. It could also be a way for you to explore new hobbies and skills you may enjoy. If you’re interested in volunteering, there’s no better day than today to begin your search. We thank those who give back to our communities and we hope you are inspired to get involved as well. Happy National Volunteer Month!



To learn more about the Sagora experience, tour your local community today! We are proud to play a vital role in helping seniors live longer and the best life possible. With 64 communities in 12 different states, Sagora Senior Living offers seniors the chance to live in active, social communities where they can thrive on a daily basis.


To find out more, tour your local Sagora Senior Living community!

Do you have questions? We have answers.

At Sagora Senior Living our goal is to be accessible to our residents and their families, our future associates, and our customers. To that end, we look forward to hearing from you.
(817) 446-4792