News & Event
Every month in our Eastern Jackson County Community, 500 Boomers turn age 65. Some see this as a challenge, however, our Community for All Ages Coalition believes it presents a tremendous opportunity. Through partnerships with local and region organizations, the Coalition has developed ways to utilize the talent, time and energy of our community’s new retirees.
Studies show that community engagement is beneficial for both physical and mental health. And based on market research we conducted with people age 55 and better in Eastern Jackson County, 80 percent are currently volunteering and of the 20 percent who aren’t, 75 percent are interested in doing so.
So, in 2017, the Community for All Ages Coalition launched the Boomers Get Connected initiative. Working with United Way’s Get Connected site, a free online database of volunteer opportunities, and volunteer managers from organizations throughout Eastern Jackson County, Boomers Get Connected makes it easier for people to find volunteer opportunities in their communities.
To date, more than 3,600 people have created Get Connected profiles, and the United Way reports that 57 percent have self-identified as part of the Boomers Get Connected user group.
There are 239 organizations using Get Connected to recruit volunteers, including Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. Lindsay Browne, Habitat’s Community Engagement Manager, appreciates the efficiency of the site and the opportunity to reach a larger pool of volunteers.
Lindsay is one of 19 nonprofit professionals from Eastern Jackson County to receive a scholarship from Truman Heartland to participate in Nonprofit Connect’s Volunteer Management Institute at no cost.
The Boomers Get Connected initiative is a great example of using collective impact to help retirees stay active and engaged and provides a model that we hope will be incorporated in neighboring communities and across the region.
Truman Heartland’s Community for All Ages Coalition, now 60 members strong, is committed to working collaboratively and proactively to ensure that our Eastern Jackson County communities are prepared for the challenges and opportunities created by the changing demographics. Learn more about the Coalition at https://www.thcf.org/Initiatives-Impact/Community-for-All-Ages-Coalition
There are many factors to consider when choosing a charitable strategy, but when you partner with Truman Heartland Community Foundation for your Donor Advised Fund you benefit from our shared resources and join our family of generous individuals who are using their funds to make larger, more intentional charitable contributions.
On May 9th, Truman Heartland’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) senior members and their parents joined Foundation staff and Board members to celebrate their impending graduation and share memories from their time on the council.
“This year’s group of teens were very, very enthusiastic,” said Henri Goettel, YAC’s adult facilitator.
In addition to reviewing 24 grant applications, awarding 16 grants to youth-serving nonprofits, collecting 40,000 items for area food pantries and raising $3,700 for the YAC endowment fund, this year’s YAC members logged more than 1,000 total hours volunteering.
As Henri presented senior gifts and awards, each student spoke of the value of their experience in our “school of philanthropy.”
“Youth Advisory Council has really inspired me to go out and help my community,” said Angelica Johnson, a graduate from Truman High School, who will be studying public policy at the University of Chicago.
Many students reflected on the grants review process and enjoyed the opportunity to learn about nonprofits in Eastern Jackson County. They also shared the value of the friendships they’ve formed, working with students not only from their same high school but throughout the region.
“It’s really amazing to be with so many like-minded students,” said Lucy Langford, a graduate from Center Place Restoration High School, who will be studying biology at Park University.
The evening culminated with Bryanna Counts, a graduate of Van Horn High School, receiving both the Henri E. Goettel Youth in Philanthropy Award and the Elizabeth Hill McClure Scholarship. Bryanna has been an active YAC member since 2015 and plans to study biology and political science at the University of Missouri.
“It’s a really good hope for the future,” said Lucy, “to know that there are so many students ready to go out and serve our community.”
Truman Heartland’s Youth Advisory Council engages 190 students annually from 13 high schools in Eastern Jackson County. YAC students gain hands-on experience in fundraising, grantmaking and volunteering. Learn more about Youth Advisory Council at https://www.thcf.org/Initiatives-Impact/Youth-Advisory-Council
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