By LOIS KINDLE
The newly elected board of the Sun City Center Community Association and Seniors in Service are partnering to get residents more involved in their community.
The board recently approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Tampa-based nonprofit group to try to engage more residents in the community’s clubs, events and civic activities.
“We have a goal of increasing volunteerism, and this MOU, in conjunction with our HUG [Help Us Govern] program, will help us achieve it,” said Ron Clark, SCC Board president. “We’ll be working with Seniors in Service to identify unique opportunities for residents of this community to utilize their tremendous talents and skills to benefit each other.”
“Sun City Center is a community built on civic engagement and neighbors helping neighbors,” added Seniors in Service CEO Robin Ingles. “We’re going to come up with additional ways to reach people where they are, which will include helping clubs use social media better, host more outreach events and provide training on marketing trends.”
The partnership of two 501(c) 3 organizations is based on the belief that ideally there should be a continuum of engagement and involvement as people age.
Ingles said when people first move to Sun City Center, they play sports, engage in social activities and may volunteer as an EMR for the SCC Emergency Squad. Then they may drop some of those activities and choose to serve in a less physically active way, like joining a CA committee or becoming a dispatcher for the emergency squad. As they age further, their activities and service might include visiting an elderly neighbor or disabled veteran or making phone calls to a homebound resident or writing cards of encouragement. Eventually, these same volunteers may need someone to return the favor.
“That’s what builds a community,” Ingles said. “As you get older, you start thinking about your legacy. The point is not to become isolated your whole life.”
CA Board member Debbie Caneen agrees.
“It’s the circle of life,” she said. “We all help each other until we can’t, and then someone helps us,” she said.
Seniors in Service specializes in matching senior volunteers ages 55 and older, based on their interest and abilities, with people who need assistance in some way.
“We help people find volunteer opportunities that fill them with purpose and connect them to their community,” Ingles said.
For more information, contact Michelle Mason at Seniors in Service, weekdays, at 813-492-8920 or email email@example.com/.