Unleash the Power of Age

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When was the last time you took a minute to thank the seniors in your community for all they have done?

Well, we have good news, because now you have a whole month to do it! May is Older Americans Month. and the theme is “Engage at Every Age.” At Marion Goodwill we are proud to take this time to celebrate America’s older workers and honor the positive impacts they have on making a difference in the community, especially, our workplaces.

More older Americans want and need to remain in the workplace past traditional retirement age, and those without jobs face a particularly tough time finding new positions. A stunning 33 percent of job seekers ages 55 and older are long-term unemployed, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. These people looking for work are like Wanda. Wanda never had a strong support system of friends or family. After “couch surfing” for years, she was forced to live on the streets. In addition to not having a safe place to live, Wanda was an alcoholic and felt constantly crushed by depression. One year later, she was able to get her own apartment and make her bed at the shelter available for someone else who needed it. An employee at the shelter informed Wanda of Goodwill’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Before she left the shelter, she applied to SCSEP. Wanda did not expect a call back because of her history of unemployment and alcoholism, but to her surprise, she got an interview and was accepted into the program. At age 57, it was time for a new start. With the help of SCSEP, she was able to get her driver’s license, a car, a new home and a job.

There are millions of other older Americans like Wanda who deserve a chance to reach their full potential through the power of work. Unfortunately, these individuals are too often overlooked for positions, despite their years of experience and service. At Goodwill®, our resolution for Older Americans Month is to make sure every individual in the communities we serve knows all about the diverse contributions older workers are making to our community and to our local economy. You’ll find many more of their success stories at http://www.mariongoodwill.org.

This Older Americans Month is a great time to show the world you’re never too old (or young) to enrich your life and community. You’re encouraged to share your own stories about what older Americans mean to you. Snap a selfie or have someone take your picture participating in activities that support your mental and physical well-being. Then, post your image and tag it #OAM18.

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