Inspiring Opportunities Free E-Newsletter
The wealth of knowledge and experience we acquire over time influences our values and interests and often leads to a desire to “give back” and make a difference. From politics to the environment, opportunities abound. The only question left is, “Where do I begin?”
A Motivational Retirement Story
Before Philadelphia's world-renowned oncologist and philanthropist Dr. Audrey Evans began a lifetime of research and compassionate care, her teachers accused her of dishonesty...they couldn't believe that this British teenager could read so much so quickly. Don't get Dr. Evans started on that topic! She went on to become an award-winning doctor and researcher whose advances in the diagnosis and treatment of neuroblastoma (a common childhood cancer that strikes before age five) contributed to a 50 percent jump in survival rates. She also founded the Ronald McDonald House to care for families. But, retirement stopped her in her tracks...luckily, not for long... read on to find out about her latest passion.
Coming of Age is recruiting people age 50+ to be Encore Volunteer Managers (EVM) at Philadelphia-area nonprofits. Each manager will lead a corps of volunteers (of all ages) within a nonprofit (i.e. homeless shelter, food cupboard, emergency crisis center) that has been accepted into this program. The part-time EVM will receive a $500/month stipend and work 15 hours a week from April thru December, 2013 at an organization that is supported by The Philadelphia Foundation. To find out more about this opportunity, continue reading below. To access the application, which must be submitted online by 5 p.m., Friday, March 15, 2013 by 5 p.m.,click here.
Join a Team to Help Refugee Women!
Coming of Age and its Intergenerational Center partner, Project SHINE, are offering opportunities for women age 50+ to develop relationships with Bhutanese and Burmese refugee women, to learn about their cultures, and share knowledge about the U.S. Become part of a dynamic volunteer team to help these women learn life skills, become more independent, and better integrated into the community. Stipended Volunteer Leaders and other volunteers are needed to provide mentoring and support. An orientation meeting will be held on March 5th in Center City. Click here for more information and to register.
A Thank You that Finally Got Said
Those who listen to Story Corps on National Public Radio (NPR) know how poignant the stories can be. This piece (with audio of the interview) is about John Cruitt, 62, who spent decades tracking down his third-grade teacher. He wanted to tell Cecile Doyle how deeply she touched him when his mother died of multiple sclerosis in 1958. Their conversation shows how certain memories are indelible and how meaningful it is to let someone know when they have made a real difference in your life...even after 50 years!
Purpose Prize Winners...Amazing Encore Stories
The Purpose Prize, awarded by Encore.org, is the nation's only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good. The Prize awards $100,000 each to five people in encore careers creating new ways to solve tough social problems. In their 60s, they are changing the world, and with it perceptions of what is possible for millions of others flooding into the second half of life. Click here to read about recent winners and fellows. Nominations for the 2013 Purpose Prize will be open in January. Check here for details.
Caring for Caregivers
CARES (CAregivers REducing Stress) is a new program, funded primarily by the Pew Foundation, for anyone caring for an older family member or friend in Philadelphia. Lutheran Settlement House (in Fishtown), will provide support for caregivers who are prone to specific kinds of stress and health risks in their role. The program offers individual and family counseling, support groups, resources, and a lecture series, all for free to low-income families! To be eligible, you must be unpaid and caring for someone 65 or older. House calls are available. Contact Virginia at (215) 426-8610 x 207 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Generous are Boomers?
A few years back, there was the belief that boomers, financially secure and eager to "give back," were going to once again change the world, this time through unprecedented charitable giving and volunteerism. This article in Next Avenue, follows this cohort through the financially challenging 80s when the benevolence streak slowed down ... to today, when boomers are the most charitable givers (more than $47 billion a year!) The challenge is about creating compelling opportunities in nonprofits that will encourage boomers to put their skills, experience, and intelligence to work for their communities. Coming of Age has strategies to make that happen (check out Strengthening Communities on our site.)
Being There for Those in Need
For older adults living at home, the regular visits and help provided by Senior Companions can be what gets them up in the morning...and keeps them going. John Antsy, a 78-year-old, does his good deeds 20 hours a week as part of the federally-funded Senior Corps. Among Mr. Antsy's tasks are bringing one couple groceries and prescriptions, spending time with an isolated woman tethered to an oxygen tank, and providing respite for a caregiving wife. He is one of the 13,600 Senior Companions --all older than 55--who served nearly 61,000 clients nationally last year. More than 40 percent of the companions are over 74. To learn more about this stipended program, click here.
Goodbye Prozac, Hello Neighbor
If you want a drug-free way of lifting your depression, research suggests that if you do something nice for someone else, you will feel better about yourself and more positive about what is happening around you. The studies talk about "positive activity interventions" -- things like helping someone with groceries, writing a thank you note, or even counting your blessings -- that can lift your mood. Positive activity interventions come in a variety of forms, including: being kind to others, expressing gratitude, thinking optimistically, and meditating on the good things in life. I already feel better linking you to this article!