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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid