Volunteer Fair Aims to Fight Isolation for Older Oregonians
Thursday, June 15, 2023
A volunteer fair is encouraging older Oregonians to get involved in their communities and fight social isolation, which became pervasive during the pandemic.
The Community Volunteer Fair will take place in Medford June 23.
Cassie Rose, executive director of the Community Volunteer Network, which is hosting the event for folks age 55 and older, said they are hoping to draw people back into the volunteer space.
"Volunteer recruitment is a big need in our community," Rose explained. "Our community took a big hit after COVID, and we're trying to rebuild the volunteer database to get more people involved, and we're excited to feature over 20 programs."
Rose pointed out organizations in the region are able to provide services to people because of the work of volunteers.
United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has raised the alarm about loneliness as a public health crisis in the country. Murthy noted even before the pandemic, about half of U.S. adults reported measurable levels of loneliness. Rose emphasized volunteering is a solution for overcoming feelings of isolation.
"Lacking social connection is as dangerous as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day," Rose noted. "Getting involved in the community through volunteerism is a way to combat that."
The volunteer fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Medford. It is a free event, and only for people age 55 and older.
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