Andrus Award Honors Older Volunteers Helping ME Communities
Monday, May 8, 2023
AARP is seeking nominations for its 2023 Andrus Award for Community Service, which celebrates those individuals over age 50 who share their experience and skills to enrich the lives of others.
Research shows volunteerism improves the mental and physical health of older adults and the award will honor those who've experienced those benefits firsthand.
AARP Maine State Director Noël Bonam said volunteering is a great way for older Mainers to stay active.
"Through volunteerism, through civic engagement," said Bonam, "it really helps you realize that you are still capable of contributing in a very positive way to your community, and that it makes a difference."
Bonam said Mainers have a long tradition of volunteerism and understand the value it especially brings to older Mainers.
He said nominations for volunteers, even couples, who've gone above and beyond for their community can be made through the AARP Maine website.
The most recent recipient of the Andrus Award for Community Service is Jean Saunders of Saco, who organized support networks to help residents more easily age in place.
Bonam said she's helped arrange simple but critical services such as rides to the pharmacy or grocery store, and even snow shoveling.
"She will be the first one to say," said Bonam, "that she has been able to do it only because of the great help of her fellow Saco residents, who are all doing it on a volunteer basis."
AARP has created a national database with volunteer opportunities across the country for those looking to share their talents and for those organizations in need of help.
Bonam says it's never too late to give back.
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