We all know that volunteering helps other people in need, but what we didn’t know is that it can also help us at the same time. A recent study presented at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) annual meeting this summer showed that retirees over 65 who volunteer had less than half the risk of death than their non-volunteer peers. Park Springs Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) understands the importance of volunteerism and has been a strong proponent of it since opening its 54-acre campus style community in Stone Mountain, Ga. in 2004.
Bud Taylor is one of many Park Spring’s Members who has been giving back to the community for years. He currently volunteers at the Fernbank Museum once a week, Meals on Wheels twice a month and at the Park Springs Market every other week. When asked why he does it, he simply replied, “Because I enjoy it.”
Tally Sweat, another Park Spring’s’ Member said she enjoys the way volunteering makes her feel both inside and out.
“It’s self-serving in a way; it makes me feel good to know that I am contributing to the betterment of my community, the world, and life,” she said. “It also keeps me active.”
Ms. Sweat’s volunteer efforts are wide in scope. She has helped raise over $9.5 million to restore the historic Park on Ponce de Leon, served on the board for The Trust for Public Land and spearheaded the “Wild Flower” license plate initiative. At Park Springs she chairs the Development Committee for Park Springs Foundation, a foundation that awards educational scholarships to qualifying employees.
Two of the many involved members at Parks Springs are Ray Dubner and his wife Fran. Ray is a member of the Park Spring’s Finance Committee and is President of the Employee Appreciation Fund at the CCRC. He is also the facilitator of the “Monthly Memoir Class.”
Fran currently serves as a “study buddy” to several children at Mountain Park Elementary School in DeKalb County and has served for the past 10 years as the “thank you note correspondent” for Mercer University. Together, they volunteer their time as assistants for the Park Spring’s semiannual Book and Garage Sales, as crewmembers for Park Spring’s theatrical productions and as emcees for the communities’ trivia night.
“We have the time and we want to give back, so we volunteer. We value the experience of being enriched through interacting and hopefully helping others.”
Have you volunteered lately?