It has been shown that giving to others boosts one’s physical and mental health. In early December, ASA reached out via our On Aging Hub to ask our members how they were giving back during the latest COVID-19 surge. What inventive ways might our members be connecting with and helping others while COVID continues? We heard back right away from several members. Check out their ideas:
As a board-certified patient advocate, I'm in the trenches every day, helping people who are struggling with COVID-19. But this holiday season I'm also volunteering at Silver Santas—a grassroots project that provides gifts to isolated and low-income older adults.
These are needy elders who otherwise would not receive a holiday gift. It’s so wonderful to hear the heartfelt stories of how one bag of gifts could bring tears their eyes, and how much joy they receive from our efforts.
This year, more than ever, they need gifts to pick up their spirits and to let them know that someone on the outside is thinking of them. Most do not have any family left to care for them, and if they do, they live far away. So, I hope this inspires others to do something similar. I think our troubles are minimized when we’re absorbed in helping others who have even less than we do.
Bonnie Brown, CEO, A Better Life
Saint Petersburg, FL
Serving Seniors operates 412 senior-only affordable housing units and delivers meals and support services to more than 8,000 clients in the San Diego area each year. We have leveraged the holiday spirit buzzing within our community by putting out a call to action to community members to translate the season's warmth and gratitude into greeting cards and letters.
So far, we have received pledges for more than 2,500 cards, and they continue to trickle in daily. From Girl Scout troops, CEOs, college students and more. Our goal is to have every one of the older adults we serve receive a warm reminder this holiday season that the community is still out there supporting and caring about them, despite the physical distance.
Christina Selder, director of community engagement and government relations at Serving Seniors
San Diego, CA
We are buying items from local businesses to fill seasonal bags that will be dropped off at the homes of older residents the third week of each month from December through March. Younger volunteers in the community have really stepped up to make this possible. They have provided outstanding support for our older residents.
Elizabeth Price, Senior Resource Center coordinator
We hope this inspires other ASA members to give back as well; it certainly lit a fire under us!