April is National Volunteer Month, a time to celebrate the individuals who generously donate their time and effort to make a difference in the lives of so many.

At Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), a private, non-profit organization, we honor more than 700 volunteers who are dedicated to providing essential services to older adults, individuals with disabilities and others throughout the 23 communities we serve. OCES volunteers are community members of all ages, ranging from retirees to employees of local businesses seeking outreach opportunities, to students and others.

Our volunteers support a number of programs. For example, we have over 400 volunteers in our Nutrition Program delivering “Meals on Wheels” to homebound recipients on a daily basis.

More than 60 volunteers support our Money Management Program and help older adults and individuals with disabilities balance their checkbooks, reconcile bank statements and pay their bills on time.

OCES is also fortunate to have more than 250 volunteers in the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Plymouth County, part of the AmeriCorps Seniors network, which is the federal agency for volunteering, service and civic engagement. These volunteers help local agencies such as Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Plymouth, the Brockton Public Schools Reading Program, South Shore Community Action Council, Food Banks, Veterans Services and others. Volunteers also serve on OCES’ Board of Directors and the RSVP Community Advisory Council. As with many nonprofit organizations, the need for volunteers is ongoing. OCES offers a variety of volunteer opportunities to match a volunteer’s interests. We also recruit volunteers for programs at other nonprofits, schools and organizations throughout Plymouth County. For anyone who is 55 and older, OCES can provide information on RSVP of Plymouth County.

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many new challenges, but OCES continues to adapt and safely serve the needs of our consumers and the communities in which we serve. All of OCES’ programs, from Nutrition (Meals on Wheels) and Home Care to Protective Services, remain in place and are operating.

We are truly grateful for the heroic efforts of our volunteers as they continue to provide important services – such as daily meal deliveries and more – to older adults and individuals with disabilities to keep them safe and independent at home. A heartfelt “Thank You” to all volunteers for the important contributions you make in the community each and every day.

For more information about volunteer opportunities throughout Plymouth County and the Southcoast, visit OCES’ website at www.ocesma.org/volunteer.