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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs