Group offers opportunities to connect in the new year

Boomers Leading Change volunteers distribute food at The Action Center in Lakewood.

Boomers Leading Change volunteers distribute food at The Action Center in Lakewood.

Many people take advantage of the new year to launch new projects. If you’re thinking of new projects beyond cleaning out the basement to helping your community, then Boomers Leading Change can help you make that happen.

Boomers Leading Change mobilizes, connects and empowers Adults 50+ to utilize their skills, experience, passion and energy to create positive, lasting social change through meaningful volunteer work.

“Boomers gives you the platform to spread your wings,” says Elsie Humes who joined a year ago and gives one day a week to hospice work. She was looking for a way to get involved after her career in nursing. She chose hospice because hospice care helped her mother in her last days.

Art Evans heard of Boomers “through networking,” he says. After he retired from his career as an engineering project manager, he got interested in working with refugees. Through Boomers, he talked to three organizations before he decided to become a tutor in English at the African Community Center. He spends about three hours a week helping an Ethiopian woman improve her language skills and also gives some time to their Job Club improving resumes and job interview skills.

Barbara Shangraw, a retired attorney, had volunteered at a number of organizations before she heard of Boomers Leading Change. She connected with The Action Center in Lakewood where she spends three hours a week at the intake desk helping people find the services they need from housing to food to medical referrals.

“It’s very gratifying to meet people going through tough times and be able to help out,” she says.

Art Evans finds satisfaction in “seeing continuing improvement in clients in small advances, evolutionary success.” He’s done everything from demonstrate how to make change in U.S. money—so that one man could advance in his job—to assisting with legal forms to become a U.S. citizen.

Elsie Humes likes “the opportunities to learn new things.” She recently got certified as an advance care planner to help individuals with medical directives and other issues.

With Boomers Leading Change, she says, “If the organization you’re at is not the right place, they’ll set up another one to better match your interests. They’re not afraid to do that.”

“They give you great training and a good support system,” says Barbara Shangraw.

“Many Boomers Leading Change volunteers tell us they get more out of volunteering than what they do for others,” says Phil Nash, the organization’s executive director. “In fact, research confirms that older people who stay engaged in activities that give them a sense of purpose live longer and are less vulnerable to age-related diseases.”

Boomers Leading Change coordinates skills-based volunteer positions at organizations across Metro Denver. To learn more, attend an upcoming Volunteer Information Session on Jan. 9 or Jan. 22. The sessions begin at 10:00 a.m. both days. For location and more information, call 303-426-6637 or visit

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