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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid