Residents at Chartwell Harbours help fight hunger

Seniors turn to a wide variety of methods to stay active during retirement, but volunteering has proven to be one of the most popular options. According to Statistics Canada, adults 65 and older contributed about twice as many volunteer hours – approximately 223 - compared to youths between 15 and 24, hours in 2010. This trend has certainly held true at Chartwell Harbours Retirement Residence in Calgary, where residents work together to fight back against hunger in their local community.

Quick to take action
Chartwell Harbours began its quest for community service back in 2012 when its residents were shocked to hear about the number of children in the Calgary area who had to forego lunch on a daily basis. Wanting to take action, they got in touch with Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids Program and began making and packaging lunch for local children. Since partnering with the organization, Chartwell Harbours residents have put together more than 5,300 lunches for local children. During this time, residents have also raised more than $5,500 for the same causes. To local residents, supporting the community’s youngest members is of the utmost importance.

“It’s not just about giving them a handout,” says Nancy Hall, resident at Chartwell Harbours. “It’s about giving them a hand up, enabling them to think clearly, and providing them with the best possible outcome.”

Seniors benefit as well
Local Calgary children are not the only ones benefiting from the kind-hearted gestures of Chartwell Harbours residents – the seniors themselves will also see some benefits from their charitable acts, if recent research is to be believed. One study, performed by experts at the Corporation for National and Community Service  in the U.S., revealed that states that have higher volunteer rates tend to have better overall health statistics than those who have lower levels of volunteering.

Volunteering is also good for seniors’ emotional health, experts say. According to the UnitedWay, volunteers often see a boost in both self-esteem and self-confidence. Not only that, but volunteering is a great way for seniors to to meet other like-minded individuals and broaden their social involvement, which is one of the most important aspects of senior health.