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New Report: Older Nevadans Lead the Pack in Volunteering

January 23, 2012

LAS VEGAS - Older Nevadans are outpacing younger Nevadans and even the national average when it comes to taking time out to volunteer for their communities. Thirty-five percent of AARP Nevada members aged 50 and up volunteered for at least one local group in the last year, according to new research from AARP.

Gil Yanuck is a Carson City senior who says he volunteers for several organizations because he believes in the importance of helping others.

"When these people get up and tell us, 'Hey, thank you,' we know they're sincere, so, it pulls at your heartstrings. 'What else can I do for these people?' And that's why so many of us keep coming back, year after year."

Yanuck say local volunteers help transport people to the hospital, they get food to the needy, and some work with him on providing free tax help to thousands of Nevadans.

Nancy Andersen, state volunteer coordinator for AARP Nevada, says about 20 percent of Nevadans give time to their communities as volunteers, which is about the same as the national average, but she adds that number goes way up for older Nevadans.

"Thirty-five percent of AARP members regularly volunteer; that shows that Nevadans 50 and older are more generous with their time and talents."

While the survey was limited to AARP members, Andersen says it does represent a broad sample, because more than 40 percent of Nevadans age 50 and over are members of AARP.

Andersen says their research finds three main reasons Nevadans volunteer.

"The biggest reason that they volunteer is because they enjoy helping other people; second, they need to really believe in the organization they volunteer for and the goals of that organization; and thirdly, they really want to make a difference in their community."

If you want help locating an organization that needs volunteers, you can contact AARP Nevada or e-mail them at

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV