Janine Rouson

Raleigh, NC

"Doing for others is truly part of my being and what makes me energized for life itself."

I retired from my primary career and entered my “encore” in April 2015. I know that while I am not working at a specific job each day, I am working to make my community better each day.

In my encore, I volunteer with a local women’s community service organization, The Raleigh Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. We have adopted an elementary school and an elder apartment building.

For the elementary school, the children are mostly from underprivileged homes and have significant needs. Our organization contributed over $2,000 for uniforms and backpacks for the students. The backpacks included six pairs of underwear, school supplies, tooth brushes, tooth paste, socks and facial tissues. We went to the school for the uniform fittings and along with other volunteers helped to fit the students, did alterations of the uniforms right on site at the school.

It was such a joy to see the students so excited about having clothing that fit them. We partnered with a local certified school counselor and assisted her in conducting six anti-bullying sessions for the students. These sessions were informative and very useful.

For the elders apartment building, we have conducted several sessions with the elderly residents including a session with the American Heart Association, a Thanksgiving dinner, a holiday gift tree and other health and wellness sessions. It has been very rewarding to bring some joy into their lives.

I love giving back. Doing for others is truly part of my being and what makes me energized for life itself. I believe the best comes from when we give. I generally receive far more than I give just by being engaged in the community.

The students at the elementary school are thriving and doing very well. We interact with them several times during the semester, including taking them to an international festival so they could get exposure about other cultures. To see their eyes, their faces of wonder as they learn something new has been great.

The elders sent a beautiful thank you card to our group to say how much they appreciated our time with them.

Older workers have the benefit of experience and compassion for their communities and are integral to high quality, high-achieving communities.

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