Senior Corps members, partners and leaders recently met in Reston, Virginia to celebrate 45 years of service to communities across America. Over 250 Senior Corps leaders, supporters and members gathered to learn and exchange ideas on how to continue to be responsive and relevant to the people and to the communities in which we serve. As leaders proudly shared the stories of the impact of the service Senior Corp members gave to their communities, we listened in amazement. We celebrated the extraordinary achievements and passion of Senior Corps members who serve in food pantries or thrift shops, deliver critical transportation services or meals at home, make welcomed reassurance calls or serve in disaster recovery functions or work with children. There was an inexhaustible list of ways those over 55 were positively contributing to the welfare of communities across this nation.
The meeting in Virginia heralded Senior Corps members as “Champions of Service for a New Era” and no better example of that than 106 year old Virginia McLaurin, the grandmother, who in February, danced with President Barack and First Lady, Michelle Obama. Virginia spoke to her fellow “Champions” at the meeting regaling the value of volunteerism and passion for service. Virginia’s commitment to service has been passed on to her granddaughter, who was also in attendance. So, with thunderous applause and ovation, fellow Champions acknowledged their achievement of becoming the first grandmother and granddaughter to jointly serve in a Senior Corps program!
President Obama wrote a letter to each of the Senior Corps members of the nation. He stated:
America is what it is because we built it together. With collective effort and in common purpose, generations have endeavored to enrich their communities and our country, adding their voices to a tradition of civic engagement that has guided us since our Nation’s founding. The America we know today was shaped by the contributions of people of all ages from a multitude of origins, and we are joined together by a belief in the enduring power of our country’s promise.
As Senior Corps volunteers, you have helped carry forward this legacy and set a powerful example of service- one that can have a tremendous impact on the lives of those around you and inspire others to step forward to serve. In your dedication, we see the spirit of shared purpose- the understanding that we are all bound to one another – that is at the core of our national character.
As you gather from across our country to reflect on the difference you are making, know you have the deep appreciation of a proud and grateful President.
What an exciting time to be a part of Senior Corps. Join today to see how you can be a part of this national movement.