White House Puts Spotlight on Seniors' Leadership in Community Service

Sep 10, 2012


Senior Corps volunteers, grantees share experience with administration officials

WASHINGTON, DC -- On Monday, September 10, American volunteers above age 55 took center stage at a White House event underscoring the impact of senior citizens who are making remarkable contributions to their communities.

“Americans 55 and over are a national resource that can be mobilized to service communities across America,” said Jon Carson, deputy assistant to the President and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. “We were excited to engage in a dialogue with the individuals and organizations that are helping senior volunteers change communities.”

The White House program, part of the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series, included individuals and groups associated with Senior Corps. Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Senior Corps counts more than 330,000 volunteers age 55 and over who are serving through three key programs: Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP.

CNCS estimates that 18.7 million older adults – nearly a quarter of those 55 and older – contributed on average more than three billion hours of service in their communities per year between 2008 and 2010. The yearly economic benefit of this service to the nation equals more than $64 billion.

White House officials and Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS, along with Dr. Erwin Tan, director of Senior Corps, participated in sessions during which Senior Corps volunteers shared stories from their experiences.

Senior Corps funding opportunities are currently available through the 2013 RSVP competition. The deadline for applications is in October and successful applicants will be notified in March 2013.

The White House Community Leaders Briefing Series, a weekly program that began in the summer of 2011, is a unique opportunity for grassroots leaders to start a two-way dialogue with the White House about issues that are affecting their communities and to ensure that they are well-informed about government policies and programs and how they can use or maximize these resources.


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