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Resolve to get involved in the new year

Ashland seniors are invited to a Senior Volunteer Fair on from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Ashland Senior Center, 1699 Homes Ave. The event is co-sponsored by Ashland Senior Services Division, Community Volunteer Network and Asante Ashland Community Hospital. Enjoy free admission and refreshments and peruse a wide range of volunteer opportunities. Just stop by, and there’s no need to pre-register.

The Senior Services Division of Ashland Parks and Recreation was created in 2017 to help Ashland respond to the needs of our large and growing senior community. We run the Ashland Senior Center and work on senior issues throughout the city with the help of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee.

Our mission is to enhance the lives of seniors by promoting healthy aging, well-being, dignity and independence, and empower older adults as valued, contributing members of the community. In the 17 months since I started as Superintendent of this new Division, we have made great progress on our goals to partner with community organizations, raise awareness about services available for older adults and their families, advocate for senior needs and expand programming.

Seniors also are an enormous resource in the Rogue Valley. Retired people have the time and life experience to help others, and Ashland seniors are especially dedicated to community service. As I talked with community members and organizations, one of the ideas that emerged was to host a senior volunteer fair.

Recruiting more volunteers will ensure that local nonprofits have enough capacity to serve our community, such as older adults who need food delivery or rides to medical appointments. And volunteers benefit just as much. Volunteering supports healthy aging in retirement, providing critical social connection and a sense of purpose.

At the Jan. 22 fair, seniors can find new ways to make a difference, have fun, meet new people and learn new skills. Staff from over 20 local organizations will share opportunities in the arts, education, recreation, youth development, the environment, animal welfare, social services, public safety and more. What cause touches your heart?

There are volunteer jobs for all abilities, from active seniors who can do projects in the parks to homebound seniors who can make calls for the regional disaster registry, and everything in between. Join us Jan. 22 to find your next great adventure!

For questions about the Senior Volunteer Fair, to learn more about other activities and services or to sign up for our monthly newsletter, call the Ashland Senior Services Division at 541.488.5342.