In 2012, NASUAD announced a call for programs to submit for the second annual Volunteers Matter: NASUAD Excellence in Volunteer Services Award. This initiative is designed to highlight successful state-run programs that are leading the way in the creative use of volunteers in the long term services and supports network. Programs were asked to demonstrate innovations in one or more of the following areas:
- Promoting intergenerational interaction
- Incorporating Baby Boomers as volunteers
- Including Veterans as volunteers or recipients
- Creative strategies for recruitment and retention of volunteers of varying backgrounds, ages, and abilities
The Volunteers Matter Award was started as a result of NASUAD's work with the Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative. With funding from the Administration on Aging, the Volunteer Collaborative was started in 2010 for the purpose of enhancing the engagement of volunteers in the aging network with a particular emphasis on increasing volunteer participation of the baby boom generation. Earlier this year, the Volunteer Collaborative was launched as an on-line resource to assist the Aging Network in engaging and empowering older adults and maximizing their leadership skills and experiences. The website, found here, allows individuals to participate in an interactive way to share information with other programs that utilize volunteers.
2013 Volunteers Matter Award Recipients
Share Minnesota, part of Minnesota’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, the Senior LinkAge Line® One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors. The goal of Share Minnesota is to provide another door that older adults can use to get connected to local opportunities to volunteer. Minnesota’s growing population of older adults provides a critical resource to the state. They have tremendous talent and expertise that can be harnessed to address critical community needs. Minnesota consistently ranks high in volunteerism. However, there is still more work to do in order to fully realize this potential. With the launch of Share Minnesota, potential volunteers can now call a single, statewide toll free number in order to get connected to a local volunteer-matching organization that can assist them in finding an opportunity that meets their needs. The use of technology by the Senior LinkAge Line® and volunteer-matching organizations is a key component in building this statewide network. Share Minnesota is also a public awareness campaign that promotes and encourages volunteerism of the state’s older adults.
Arkansas Office of the State LTC Ombudsman Program
In 2007, the State LTC Ombudsman, working with the local LTC Ombudsman program and the Dean of Harding University School of Nursing, managed to receive approval for the Certified Volunteer Ombudsman segment of the program to be incorporated into their baccalaureate curriculum. This was a first in the nation and remains the only one. In the last ten years, through consistent recruitment, training, inclusion and recognition, Arkansas LTC Ombudsman program has developed from 12 LTC Ombudsmen to 725 Certified Volunteer Ombudsmen. This piece of the program is critical to those we serve as they are the eyes and ears of the Regional LTC Ombudsman, an extension; assisting the Regional Ombudsman by having the capability of tangible outreach through weekly visits.
Oregon Money Management Program
The Oregon Money Management Program understands that financial security is more than simply having money to live on. It's also being able to understand and pay bills on time, manage credit, organize financial papers, file taxes, and other financial tasks. Without support many adults become victims of fraud and financial abuse and fear losing their independence. The Money Management Program model, developed by AARP Foundation, provides one-on-one in-home support to vulnerable adults with limited incomes and assets. Program services are provided by specially trained volunteers through two levels of service; Bill Payer and Representative Payee. In addition to providing direct service, Volunteers apply their office skills in program administration.