April Blog: Volunteering is Good for the Community—and Good for You

Every day, in every community across the country, volunteers make a significant contribution to the quality of life of countless people. Volunteers contribute their time and talent to all kinds of organizations, from hospitals to schools to a wide range of nonprofit organizations. 

The beauty of volunteer work is that it gives as much—or more—than it takes. In the case of older adults, volunteerism “doesn’t just strengthen communities but enriches our own lives by strengthening our bonds to others and helping us feel a sense of purpose and wellbeing,” according to a recent Harvard study. Volunteering has been shown to improve physical and mental health; provide a sense of purpose; and nurture new and existing relationships.

Spotlight on MMAP Volunteers

The Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) is Michigan’s free service that empowers older adults, individuals living with disabilities, and their caregivers so they can make informed health benefit decisions. The Senior Alliance administers MMAP with help from our volunteer counselors, who are highly trained and certified in Medicare and Medicaid health, benefits, and fraud counseling. 

Charles Hodge has volunteered more than 2,200 hours as a certified counselor with MMAP since 2009. He’s helped local Medicare beneficiaries save over $615,000 in premium and prescription drug cost savings during that time.

Thomas Cramer identified a need for accessible Medicare options for seniors; he now leads regular educational presentations and offers unbiased in-person Medicare benefits counseling in his community. He’s helped Medicare beneficiaries save  $43,065 in 2023 alone.

Looking to Give Back? Check Out Our Volunteering Opportunities

The Senior Alliance is so grateful for all the volunteers who help us assist people to thrive as they live their way.

Like Charles Hodge and Thomas Cramer, MMAP volunteer counselors help older adults navigate and understand Medicare and Medicaid, apply for certain programs available through Medicare, and identify and report any instances of fraud, abuse, or scams, among other responsibilities. Visit our website for more information about MMAP and to sign up to become an MMAP counselor.

Advocacy is another important part of what we do at The Senior Alliance; it includes informing elected officials at all levels of government about the desires, needs, health, and interests of older adults in our service area. Nutrition, health, and housing stability should be easier to obtain for older adults and adults with disabilities. Volunteers help us turn the conversation into action items that make a real difference. Check out our Advocacy brochure to learn more or email us at advocacy@thesenioralliance.org.

Meals on Wheels provides hot meals for homebound individuals aged 60 and older. The program operates in virtually every community in the U.S. through a network of more than 5,000 independently run local programs. The Senior Alliance is proud to provide Meals on Wheels for our service area. If you’re interested in volunteering with Meals on Wheels, call (734) 326-5202 or apply online through Wayne County Senior Services

No matter your age or experience, we’d love to chat with you about volunteering with The Senior Alliance. To learn more, send us an email at info@thesenioralliance.org or call us at (800) 815-1112. 

Categories: Blog