SRA AmeriCorps, Connection & Support Corps

COVID-19 has shed light on a global crisis that existed prior to the pandemic; social isolation and loneliness in seniors and disabled adults. Now more than ever before our senior population is more vulnerable and in jeopardy of suffering from social isolation and loneliness which can lead to other health issues. Research has reported that feeling lonely is linked to an increased risk of an early death, depression, dementia and poor self-health in seniors.

As part of SRA’s mission of coordinating and developing programs which enable seniors to age with independence and dignity, we are excited to share our new AmeriCorps program, Connection and Support Corps. This new initiative has been designed to provide seniors with an outlet to stay socially connected both virtually and in person. Our program will provide Central Floridians an opportunity to participate in a number of activities that will provide them with social and physical interaction, mental stimulation, and emotional support.

A team of dedicated AmeriCorps members will be trained and stationed at host sites such as senior and community centers across central Orlando. AmeriCorps Members will function as part of a community team, working to coordinate programs and support volunteers. Members will facilitate activities that can be conducted both in person and virtually (group sessions or 1:1).

Our program’s activities consist of:

 

Social Circles:

This program is to provide a space for seniors to come together (in person and virtually (group or 1:1)) allowing for social interaction, mental stimulation and emotional support. This session will empower seniors to improve social and cognitive skills, relationship building and information sharing. The goal of the program is to provide seniors with a sense of belonging and community.

 

AmeriCorps members will initiate and facilitate discussions and activities on a variety of topics ranging from current events, hobbies, life events, as well as incorporating games and activities.

 

Walk-N-Talks:

A physical fitness program designed to get aging adults up and moving by walking. AmeriCorps members will coordinate and facilitate structured walking sessions . This program will also incorporate a social engagement component in which AmeriCorps members will provide discussion topics coinciding with the World Health Calendar, current events and more!

 

Participants will be provided with a pedometer to help track steps and distance. Each session will begin with a 5-10 minute warm up activity (stretching and breathing exercises) followed by 30 minutes of walking and closing the session with a 10-15 cool down with discussion.

 

Technology for Seniors:

Technology for Seniors is a 10 week course designed to help seniors develop technology skills and learn how to discover the World Wide Web using a variety of technology related gadgets (cell phones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices).

 

Our technology for seniors’ course will be the gateway for seniors to connect virtually to family, friends and medical professionals. This program will focus on a new topic each week) allowing the space for seniors to learn or improve a variety of technology skills thus increasing their capacity for independent living.

Volunteer Florida, recognized as the Florida Commission on Community Service administers federal and state funding to support efforts to expand national service, promote disaster resiliency and advocate for volunteerism in Florida.

In 1994, Volunteer Florida was established to administer national service programs, such as AmeriCorps, throughout the state. Today, the majority of these programs are education- based, but grantees are also actively working to protect public land, end homelessness and help adults with developmental disabilities live independently.

After Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, Volunteer Florida evolved to serve as the state’s lead agency for mobilizing volunteers and coordinating donations before, during and after disasters. The Volunteer Florida Foundation also manages the Florida Disaster Fund, the official fund for aiding Florida’s communities after disasters.

Finally, Volunteer Florida exists to endorse volunteerism as a solution to critical issues in Florida. The agency hosts annual community service projects (i.e. Suits for Session) and manages Florida’s official volunteer opportunities platform, Volunteer Connect.

To become a Senior Wellness Ambassador, click here

AmeriCorps is the “domestic Peace Corps” where thousands of Americans, both young and young in spirit, are willing to get things done through service in exchange for help financing their higher education or repaying student loan debts.

AmeriCorps seeks to harness the energy and idealism of Americans who are dedicated to making their communities — and this country — a better place for all of us to live.

SRA’s Connection and Support Corps offers service opportunities throughout Central Orlando working in collaboration with a variety of community partners and nonprofit organizations. The service position(s) are half time (900 hours / 10-12 months) anticipated to begin August 2021.

Benefits of participating as a member include:

  • A modest living stipend for your service
  • Eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use the award to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training
  • Personal and professional growth- Learn and grow while giving back to a community. Individuals who serve with AmeriCorps build new skillsets that they can take with them wherever they Older Americans can apply their hard-earned knowledge to make an impact in a new environment.

In general, applicants should be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalency, be a citizen or legal resident of the country, and have a passion for serving others, getting things done and wanting to make an impact in their communities

Program Administrator:

BRYAN SIMMONS

Project Manager, AmeriCorps Senior Resource Alliance

Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida, Inc.

(407)-514-1813

bryan.simmons@sraflorida.org

www.seniorresourcealliance.org