volunteering, mentoring and learning, leading and engaging. The Local Office on Aging invites you to participate!
For 55 years, Older Americans Month has recognized older Americans and their contributions to our communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging, every May offers opportunities to hear from, support, and celebrate our nation’s elders. This year’s theme, “Engage at Every Age,” emphasizes the importance of being active and involved, no matter where or when you are in life. You are never too old (or too young) to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
It is becoming more apparent that remaining socially engaged can improve the quality of life for older adults. When the Local Office on Aging thinks “Engage at Every Age,” our many wonderful and dedicated older volunteers immediately come to mind. LOA’s Meals on Wheels volunteers not only add to the social and nutritional welfare of this community’s homebound elderly, they are enriching their own lives and remaining young by contributing to the lives of others. The same holds true for LOA’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Volunteer Master Trainers, LOA’s very knowledgeable Insurance Counselors, LOA’s varied Soup for Seniors volunteers, and the many others who come to us to aid in different endeavors.
Ellie has been a dedicated Soup for Seniors volunteer for the past six years. She started out picking up at a few of the drop-off sites and moved on to delivering door to door. Now, she knows many of those she delivers to by name and looks forward to the time she gets to spend with them each February. “Giving means getting something in return,” she says. “What I put into being a volunteer always comes back to me. The time spent with these seniors can change your life and theirs.”
Harold has been a LOA Meals on Wheels volunteer for 13 years. He gets up every morning, but says he particularly enjoys getting up on the mornings he is scheduled to deliver his route. “I feel closer to those that I deliver to than I do to some members of my family,” he said. “I guess that makes them family.”
Harold started delivering meals with his wife. After she become ill, he continued to volunteer with the LOA, while caring for his wife at home. “Volunteering provided that sense of normalcy that was much needed at a very stressful time in my life,” he shared. “I became more vested in my volunteer role, realizing how much the service I was providing was needed.”
“The LOA was recognized this year as having delivered more Meals on Wheels than any other agency in Virginia. We were able to attain that recognition because of the many volunteers who help us make the meal delivery possible,” said Ron Boyd, LOA CEO. “We value the contributions made by all of our volunteers and the seniors we serve every day. It was an easy decision to celebrate Older Americans Month, with the theme Engage at Every Age in honor of them.”