As you've probably noticed, I'm a grandmother. No spring chicken. But I was by no means the senior member of the work team that went out on Wednesday. If fact, I think I was one of the younger ones. Almost everyone there was, if not eligible for Medicare, at least ready for AARP. We put in ten hours of manual labor, got that house completely stripped and ready to begin re-building on our next trip.
I wasn't. I worked for the American Red Cross for twenty years. Although my paid position was a desk job, I had the opportunity to work a number of national disasters. You know who I was working alongside much of the time? Yep - a whole lot of seniors.
That's not to say there weren't plenty of younger volunteers as well. I am in awe of those volunteers who use their annual vacation or even take unpaid leave from their jobs to go to a disaster site and do whatever needs to be done. These people are phenomenal and I salute every one of them.
But seniors get a bad rap sometimes. They're a drain on the country's resources. Medicare. Social Security. (We have the nerve to think we should get back some of that money we've been paying into the system for the last seventy years.) Hell, NBC even cancelled Harry's Law - not for poor ratings but because the show's viewers were too old.
Are you a fan of statistics? I found a couple.
- Between 2008 and 2010, 18.7 million older adults contributed over 3 billion hours of service.
- Yearly value of this service to the U.S. economy was over $64 billion.
- 52% of seniors volunteer their time to unpaid community service.
Is there a point to all this? Maybe not. I guess I just wanted to thank all those seniors who have earned the right to kick back and relax but choose instead to rebuild someone's home, work a disaster shelter, feed the hungry, comfort the sick and disdraught, care for the homeless, give underprivleged kids a leg up, try against all odds to protect the environment, etc.
Okay, that's all. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.
Friday Bloopers - medical variety:
Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.
Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid. (ow!)
Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.