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Giving of one’s time, self is art of living

I’m asked frequently, where I get the ideas for these weekly columns.

I still serve on the Advisory Committee for RSVP and the executive board for the Superior Vocational Center.

I know about this subject from my own experiences, volunteering many years of driving for the Aging Resource Center — now Senior Connections — and for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. I thought that Jeffrey Kluger in Time Magazine made some excellent points that I want to share with you.

All of us, I think, would like to know how to live longer and happier lives. I most readily agree with Kluger that volunteering is one way. You broaden your circle of friends, receiving upbeat conversations every day you volunteer. There are, undoubtedly, some exceptions: People who don’t want to work with other people.

RSVP could very likely find work for them as well, record keeping and other such tasks.

Other benefits of volunteering are program participation enhances volunteers socially, mentally and physically. It enhances the feeling of well-being and outlook of life. It has been cited as one way volunteers stave off the effects of aging. Studies have shown that happiness contributes to longer life, reduces heart disease, diabetes and more.

The dual result of one’s societal contribution and the added happiness they bring to other people adds to their own happiness. It most truly is a win-win-proposition. There are no losers in this situation at all.

Senior Connections is located at 1805 N 16th St. RSVP is in the Catholic Charities Bureau on 1416 Cumming Ave.

I have volunteered in both areas and always was treated first class. They are happy to have prospective volunteers stop by and can answer any questions you have following my minimal comments here today.

Some readers may question why people volunteer.

It involves primarily older folks, 55 or older, but many younger people can and do volunteer. They get to use their talents, skills and experience to help meet community needs and provide them a quality addition to their resume when applying for a paid position.

Volunteering provides an opportunity to learn new skills, talents and experience.

It provides opportunities for social involvement and leadership.

Volunteers are covered by accident and liability insurance.

Volunteers may request reimbursement of some out-of-pocket expense.

One brain expert, Batzokis, said that you don’t gain brain strength by sitting around looking at the wall. Repairing brain function is done by use.

Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at bernie3024@