NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 13, 2014

Georgetown COA thanks volunteers


Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

This year’s volunteer recognition theme of Celebrate Service fits well with both the national recognition of the impact and power of volunteerism as well as with the research that surrounds the benefits of volunteerism for the individual. Volunteerism increases the connections within communities and builds the social networks that enhance and improve the lives of both the recipient as well as the giver of donated time and service.

Older adults typically report high rates of volunteering and accumulate the highest average annual hours of volunteering. In addition to fostering healthier communities, research shows that volunteering has significant health benefits along with social benefits.

Providing a sense of purpose and greater life satisfaction, volunteer activities help to protect the volunteer from isolation during difficult periods of time. The vital role that elder volunteers play and the difference they make in the lives of others is clear to the Georgetown Council on Aging (COA).

Supporting and enriching the lives of many of the elders that we serve within our community, they are the cornerstone of the programs and activities offered by the Georgetown COA.

Last year, volunteers with the Georgetown COA read with elementary school children, assisted in the office or at meals and parties, answered critical health insurance questions, completed income tax returns, folded 9,816 newsletters, sewed 193 dolls for children living with need, called 50 bingo games and drove 1,334 miles in order to provide elders with vital transportation to 108 medical appointments.

Representing a value of $62,550 (based on a rate of $20.85 per hour), 150 volunteers gave more than 3,000 hours of time to directly support the Georgetown COA, enhancing the lives of elders as well as all who live within our community.

This week’s Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast gave the Georgetown COA an opportunity to thank many of our volunteers, but we wish to offer our thanks to all of the volunteers who support our work within the community.

We also thank Ashland Farm at North Andover and Nunan’s Plants and Greenhouses of Georgetown for their sponsorship of the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast.

By sharing their gifts of time and self, volunteers provide the Georgetown COA with invaluable support. Their care and compassion has changed our community for the better. We could not do the work that we do without their support. We thank them with our deepest appreciation and gratitude.

Colleen Ranshaw-Fiorello

Director

Georgetown Council on Aging