Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community, develop new connections and help your own mental health and well-being. In addition, volunteering provides the opportunity to practice your social and interpersonal skills.
During April, Global Volunteer Month, we encourage you to find ways to connect through volunteering. Also, we ask you to consider supporting older adults through volunteering. Older adults are at an increased risk of loneliness and social isolation and supporting them through volunteering could provide social interaction they may not otherwise receive. Here are a few Hello4Health™ ideas to support older adults through volunteering:
- Send a smile to an older adult – Check out this activity for how to send letters, cards, homemade art or care packages to older adults in your community.
- Support older adults through volunteering – Tips on how to find volunteer opportunities in your area to support older adults or create your own activity!
Looking for volunteer opportunities?
- Use VolunteerMatch.org to find in-person or virtual volunteer opportunities based on your interests.
- Check out National Volunteer Week (April 17-23) for volunteer opportunities.
Friends & Co (formerly Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly) is a Minnesota-based non-profit organization that has served older adults in Minnesota for over 50 years. With an extensive volunteer network, Friends & Co helps to foster connections, companionship, and community through drop-in phone lines, pairing phone and/or visiting companions, and more.
Allina Health has been a long-time partner and supporter of Friends & Co, both by promoting employee volunteerism with the organization and now through our Health Related Social Needs program. This program includes screening primarily Medicare and Medicaid patients for social isolation and loneliness. Those who self-identify are then connected to relevant community resources, including Friends & Co. In 2022, Allina Health screened 140,377 patients, with social isolation and loneliness identified most frequently. Thus, the need for resources and continued support remains great.
Interested in volunteering with Friends & Co? Learn more here.
Well-Being Resources for All Ages
Did you know Allina Health offers mental health and wellness resources for individuals of all ages? You’re probably most familiar with Hello4Health™, which focuses on social connections for adults, but we’ve got two other initiatives for parents, kids or teens. Explore the resources and skill-building activities below.
Health Powered Kids focuses on youth ages 3-14 with lesson plans to help kids Be Active, Keep Clean, Find Balance and Eat Well.
Change to Chill focuses on youth ages 13-19 with resources to help teens become more aware of what stress is, what causes it and how to manage it.