service across generations – jvc northwest blog

The Jesuit Volunteer EnCorps (JVE) program is proud to be a part of the “Encore” service movement, but you might be asking, “What is the ‘Encore’ service movement, exactly?” This post briefly explains the movement and how a new partnership between JVC Northwest and an Encore.org initiative in Seattle deepens our commitment to providing meaningful opportunities for the “50 and better” community.

 

JVE.LogoProposed.v03Jesuit Volunteer EnCorps began out of a desire to meet the needs of the growing number of retirees (or those moving into retirement) who seek to remain vital and active, desire meaningful service opportunities, and want to be part of a supportive spiritual community. Since many people have traditionally derived some of this meaning from their work or profession, retirement can be the impetus for seeking out new or alternative ways to find that meaning. JV EnCorps, now with six active communities in four different cities (Portland and Bend, OR, Seattle and Spokane, WA) provides a way for older adults to seek meaning and add their valuable time, skills, and life experience to their communities through service.  JV EnCorps members serve with local partner agencies for 5-10 hours per week and meet monthly for community meetings and participate in two retreats annually. As folks age they continue to seek out the things that people at all ages seek out, namely meaning and fulfillment.

gen2genseattlemediumEncore.org is the organization behind much of the push to get adults 50 and over to think about retirement as the beginning of their “second act”, whereby they can contribute all they’ve learned  to communities and organizations in need. Their newest campaign, Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen), is “bringing older and younger people together to make life better for all generations.”

Our ’16-17 JV EnCorps groups are full, but we are proud to announce that JVC Northwest has begun a new partnership with the Generation to Generation campaign in Seattle (Gen2Gen-Seattle).  Seattle is a showcase city for this initiative, with a bold five year campaign to mobilize 1 million people over 50 to show up for kids and, in turn, clarify what’s possible when people across generations work together. This campaign will highlight opportunities for older adults to make a difference in the lives of young people, support innovative pilot programs, and demonstrate impact through sharing inspirational stories and best practices. JVC Northwest has committed to recruiting ten former JVs from the Seattle area to join this campaign.

Seattle is one of four showcase cities (Boston, Los Angeles, and San Jose) developing inter-generational impact zones in partnership with Youth Serving Organizations (YSO).  The Seattle focus is on education equity.  Adults 50+ are matched with YSOs to assist them in fulfilling their mission.  Roles can include volunteer direct service, capacity building, paid staff, Encore Fellows (one year, half-time commitment working on a major, impactful project, with modest stipend) and Board members.

Seattle is currently looking for adults over 50 to support its initial pilot sites.  One of these pilot sites is Educurious, and descriptions of actual roles for Gen2Gen-Seattle volunteers at Educurious can be found here. You can also find descriptions for positions with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound (Mentor) and Boys and Girls Clubs of Kirkland and Sammamish (Mentor, Tutor).

jim-mcginley-gen2gen-seattleJim McGinley, a good friend of the Jesuit community at-large, is leading Gen2Gen-Seattle. Jim serves on the Ignatian Spirituality Center Board, helped start Jesuit Volunteer EnCorps in Seattle, and is the proud father of two FJV daughters. If you are interested in being one of the ten FJVs that JVC Northwest has committed to recruiting for this program Jim can be contacted at jmcginley@ashoka.org for more information on how to get involved.

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