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The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research
Over the past two decades, a growing body of research indicates that volunteering provides not just social benefits, but individual health benefits as well. This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Some key findings from this research, along with an analysis of the relationship between volunteering and incidence of mortality and heart disease at the state level, are presented here. A more comprehensive review of this research can be found in the full report, "The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research", which can be downloaded here
Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of nearly 500,000 Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges through three programs - RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program. RSVP volunteers recruit and manage other volunteers, participate in environmental projects, mentor and tutor children, and respond to natural disasters, among many other activities. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with special needs. Senior Companions help frail seniors and other adults maintain independence primarily in the clients' own homes.
Baby Boomers and Volunteering: Findings From Corporation Research
Baby Boomers-the generation of 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964-represent a potential boost to the volunteer world, not only because of the sheer size of the generation but also because of its members' high levels of education, wealth, and skills. Since Baby Boomers are the next generation of older adults, it is equally important to understand not only how best to capture their experience and energy, but also what factors will impact their decision to volunteer from year to year. To examine this further, the Corporation for National and Community Service has analyzed data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census as part of its regular decennial Census, as well as data collected in 1974, 1989, and from 2002 to 2006 as part of a special Volunteer Supplement to the Current Population Survey. Click here are some findings about Baby Boomers gleaned from that research: