3/13/2015 – Rotary and Peace Corps Find Relevance with Retirees (The New York Times)

Mar 16, 2015 Comments Off by

Older volunteers like Mr. Crumley are on the rise, as Americans live longer and are healthier. In 2013, 24.2 percent of Americans over 65, 10.6 million people, did some type of volunteer work, up from 22.7 percent in 2002, and that number is expected to rise to more than 13 million by 2020, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that administers large national volunteer programs such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.

Responding to that spirit, old-line volunteer organizations like Rotary and the Peace Corps are stepping in to deliver opportunities for retirees to stay connected and give back.

“Rotary was the original social network,” said John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International, later adding, “way before Facebook.” He said, “From its start, Rotary meetings have been an occasion for people to get together and exchange ideas, discuss critical issues happening in their community, things happening globally and to take action.”

It is still going strong. The 110-year-old organization, which was founded in Chicago, has 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs in 200 countries and other geographical locations, and 28 percent of those members are retired and active in the group. In the United States and Canada, 26 percent of Rotarians are between 60 and 69 — nearing or at retirement age — up from 24 percent in 2009 and 21 percent in 2006.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

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