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News from the Actors Fund

Traci DiGesu, M.S.W.

Traci DiGesu, M.S.W.

The Actors Fund is your one-stop shop for almost any kind of service you can imagine. We offer counseling – both one-on-one and in groups – as well as information on all kinds of social services, including health insurance, housing, substance abuse, financial counseling, food stamps and more. Despite our name, the Actors Fund is also open to musicians as well as actors and all entertainment professionals. All services are free to Local 802 members. Contact us at (212) 221-7300, ext. 119 or www.ActorsFund.org.

It’s a new year and you were thinking of trying something new, right? We hope you consider us! The Actors Fund is excited to introduce you to our newest initiative – the CenterStage Seniors Volunteer and Activity Program. We are providing opportunities for volunteers – like you! – to help older adults stay socially engaged and connected with their community.

Volunteering is a great way to discover new skills and interests while helping others. When we think about volunteering, we tend to focus on what we can do for others and what our impact can be. This is a key motivation but it’s important to look at the many personal and professional benefits that can also be gained from volunteering.

The Actors Fund is offering an opportunity to spend time with older artists and homebound seniors. Besides being a nice thing to do, volunteering can bring you other benefits. Photo: Highwaystarz-Photography via istockphoto.com

The Actors Fund is offering an opportunity to spend time with older artists and homebound seniors. Besides being a nice thing to do, volunteering can bring you other benefits. Photo: Highwaystarz-Photography via istockphoto.com

Skill development. By volunteering, you can learn new skills and find ways to use existing skills and talents in new ways.

Career exploration. Volunteering can be an excellent way to learn more about a new setting. This can include a new workplace and office culture, or even a new mission or role for yourself. This can be especially helpful if you are exploring the possibility of changing careers. Networking within a new work environment may be helpful if you are on a job search or if you would like to expand your professional circle.

Socialize. Volunteering offers the opportunity to meet new people and create new social connections with others who share your interests.

Personal growth and impact. Learn about issues and help make a difference in your community. As a volunteer you can contribute unique skills, experiences and perspectives that are of great value and can have tremendous impact.

Create structure. Between gigs? Working nights? Volunteering regularly at the same organization can help ground your schedule when you have down time and give you an activity to look forward to on a regular basis.

Health Benefits. Recent studies show that volunteers enjoy better health, both mentally and physically! They report feeling happier and more content and they have been shown to take better care of themselves.

Currently we are looking for volunteers to join one aspect of our program called CenterStage Friends. You’ll engage in friendly home visits to help homebound seniors feel healthy and connected. By volunteering for just one hour a week, you’ll bring meaningful conversation and good company to a homebound senior.

This opportunity is one of many being developed as part of our program to help older artists feel a sense of community. We’re looking at the latest research, innovation and best practices centered on helping entertainment professionals who are 65 and older stay healthy and connected. Throughout 2016, we will be announcing more programming and volunteer listings at www.ActorsFund.org.

Musicians have many skills that make them great volunteers! If you are interested in finding out more about how you can get involved at the Actors Fund or connect with a volunteer opportunity that can help make a difference, please contact me at Tdigesu@ActorsFund.org or at (212) 221-7300, ext. 137.

Traci DiGesu, M.S.W., is the Seniors Volunteer and Activities Program Coordinator at the Actors Fund.

 

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