News / USA

Volunteer Coordinator Helps Build Community Near US Capital

Sandra Jackson
Sandra Jackson

Multimedia

Sandra Jackson, 68, of Pasadena, Maryland says she believes that everyone has something to contribute to his or her community as she helps almost every day by giving rides to those who do not or cannot drive. She is making a difference by fostering a community that helps all of its residents, particularly the elderly, about 80 kilometers from Washington, D.C.

Sandra Jackson began her community service after earning a graduate degree in gerontology. She and two friends were looking for things they could do for their town's elderly residents.

"We decided that staying in their own home is what everybody wants to do," she said. "But it gets you to the point where you can't drive, especially in an [rural] area like this. There is not any public transportation." As she gave rides to people to medical appointments, pharmacies and grocery stores, Jackson co-founded the non-profit organization Partners In Care that coordinates volunteers and people in need. "We actually started to advertise and look for people who needed help," said Jackson. "In the beginning, we had 13 people who needed help and 13 people who were going to give help. Now we have 2500 members."

Partners In Care operates on a time-banking or service exchange concept. Sandra Jackson says that when volunteers perform a task like driving someone to the doctor, he or she earns credit hours that can be used at a later date, donated to another person or contributed to the community bank.

"The average age of the volunteers is 75, many widows living in their homes trying to keep their homes up," she said. "So it is a perfect match for them to donate their time and then they get help with their homes. If their doorknob falls off or the screen door needs to be repaired, they call us. We have volunteers again, handymen, to go out and help them."

Each month, several new volunteers join Partners In Care. Most of them, Jackson says, become ride partners.

"Everyone has talent. Everyone has something to contribute," she said. "Our job here is to help them do that, help them help each other. That is what keeps this program going."

Jackson says volunteering has been part of her life since her college days, when she tutored orphans in her neighborhood. Recently, she was among 26 recipients of the "Older Volunteers Enrich America" Awards, which honors volunteers over the age of 50.

"I feel very blessed to be able to be doing this at my time in life," said Jackson. "It is very rewarding because you realize you make differences in somebody's life almost every day. So it is a very good feeling."

Sandra Jackson says she expects to continue volunteering for another 10 to 12 years - as long as she can get around and contribute to her community.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid