Webinar Showcases Innovative Volunteer Programs

As part of its Health Benefits of Volunteering campaign, the n4a Aging Network Volunteer Resource Center hosted an interactive webinar on Wednesday, showcasing two groundbreaking programs that use volunteering as an important tool to promote health and well-being in older adults. 


Vandana Pant, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Sutter Health: Palo Alto Medical Foundation, presented information about the nationally renowned Linkages program, in which older adults suffering from anxiety and depression are “prescribed volunteering," to improve their health. Linkages operates as a volunteer exchange bank for individuals and nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay area. Program participants have seen an increase in community connection and early research shows an increase in time intervals between health care visits. 

Kristie Sharp, Volunteer and Special Programs Manager, Atlanta Regional Commission, discussed ways her agency measures the impact of their volunteer program. In surveys conducted throughout several years, 64 percent of volunteers saw in improvement in their physical health and 81 percent said their quality of life improved.

If you were not able to participate or would like to use the presentation to supplement your volunteer recruitment efforts, the
 slides for the webinar are available online. The Health Benefits of Volunteering campaign, which features a consumer brochure, “Doing Good is Good for You—Volunteer!” and handy toolkit, can be accessed on the ANVRC site.

Do you have an innovative volunteer program at your agency? Email Peter Lane at and tell us about it.



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2024 winners!