Nearly 3,300 service volunteers in Utah will be recognized this week for their service to communities across the state.
In a state with a large amount of volunteers participating in many acts of service, the Corporation for National and Community Service said Utah is number one in the nation for service volunteers — particularly baby boomers.
“Across the board, I think the boomers as a whole tend to have a couple unique characteristics when it comes to volunteering,” said Samantha Warfield, a spokesperson for the organization. “They are living longer and achieving even more and as they approach retirement, they spend a few years playing golf and spending time with their grandkids and completing that honey-do list around the house, but then might feel the urge to be doing a little bit more.”
By “doing a little bit more,” Warfield said, baby boomers in Utah are choosing to volunteer by participating in programs that provide transportation services to people, working with veterans, improving open lands, serving within public schools and assisting the elderly.
Vicki Hansen, the volunteer coordinator for the retired and senior volunteer program at Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services, said some people want to make a difference and give back to the community.
She also said many volunteers have had some very good lives and want others to be able to experience that, too.
“If no one does anything, then there will never be any positive changes,” Hansen said. “The volunteers are irreplaceable.”
Without service from locals, Hansen said improvement within communities and the state would not be possible.
“Our goal this week and this month, is really, to shine the spotlight on the value that older adults bring to communities through their service,” Warfield said. “They have a lot to offer. They’re able to really transform society, making progress on some of the toughest issues.”