July 17, 2007 > CaliforniaVolunteers
Submitted By Marta Bortner
CaliforniaVolunteers today released "California's Aging Opportunity, Building a Legacy of Good Works by Older Californians", which highlights the significant, yet untapped civic resource of older Californians to make lasting positive impacts to their communities and the state.
"Older Californians represent an unprecedented civic resource that can help address some of our most pressing needs," remarked Karen Baker, executive director of CaliforniaVolunteers. "If steps are taken now to harness this resource, communities across the state will realize enormous benefits."
By the year 2020, one in five Californians will be over the age of 60, up from one in seven today. A significant gap exists between the number of older adults who express interest in service and the number of those actually volunteering. "California's Aging Opportunity" outlines a series of actions steps necessary to engage older Californians in service and improve the quality, quantity and impact of volunteer opportunities.
Some recommended action steps are already underway, including the launch of the CaliforniaVolunteer Matching Network and soon-to-be-launched marketing campaign. Other actions steps include weaving senior service into state programs, providing incentives for volunteering and expanding the capacity of the nonprofit service sector.
"California's Aging Opportunity" comes on the heels of a recent report released by the Corporation for National and Community Service entitled "The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research", which demonstrates a clear connection between volunteering and improved health of older Americans. The report shows a lower incidence of heart disease and mortality rate amongst volunteers as well as greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression.
"Volunteering not only benefits your community, but it also improves your health and general well-being," noted Baker. "Service is a win-win for you and our society."
To learn more about "California's Aging Opportunity", visit www.CaliforniaVolunteers.org. Or for the full report,
To view "The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research", visit: http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/role_impact/performance_research.asp.
Californians of every age who are interested in volunteering in their community can visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org to search for opportunities that match their interests. Today there are over 25,000 opportunities available involving the arts, education, animals, the environment and other areas of interest.