A Season for Full Community Participation

It was once said that, “Aging is not ‘lost youth,’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”

The wisdom of this statement is demonstrated well by those seniors who, upon entering this new life stage, actively contribute to their community. Unfortunately, people of all ages often view seniors primarily as passive recipients of community services rather than full participants who also give back. While seniors may in fact need specific services and support, the act of also contributing to their community leads to the greater good of all.

What do these new opportunities and strengths look like for individuals entering the senior stage of life? They can manifest in a number of ways, including a greater self-awareness of one’s individual skills and talents, an increased amount of available time, and wisdom born from diverse life experiences. And while it is true that physical, social, economic, and other challenges may come with aging, it is nonetheless vital for a community’s health that seniors seek to contribute in meaningful ways.

If you need help figuring out how to give back to your community, Cultivate, a nonprofit formerly known as Boulder County CareConnect, is ready to assist you. With a passion for helping seniors reconnect—as recipients and contributors—with their surrounding communities, they offer a variety of volunteer opportunities in which to participate. They are also the local RSVP connection, meaning they are equipped to match volunteers with meaningful opportunities through other organizations. Don’t be too quick, however, to look beyond what’s already right in front of you. Invite the neighbor who may not have family living nearby over for dessert. Visit the local library you already frequent and read to a group of young children. Simply give a smile and a friendly hello to the folks you encounter on a daily basis. The opportunities are endless.

Our communities need your participation—both your presence and resources—to contribute not only to your own personal flourishing, but also to that of the entire community. Consider how you might start contributing today!

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Shun-Luoi Fong, Director of Communications at Cultivate. He can be reached at 303-443-1933 or at dsfong@cultivate.ngo.