Contest recognizes selfless seniors

Published 9:13 pm Friday, January 17, 2014

Nominations are open in a contest honoring seniors’ volunteer efforts in the community, with up to $5,000 for a chosen charity up for grabs.

Salute to Senior Service is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care, whose Suffolk office owner, Larry Neal, says his clients punch well above their weight when it comes to serving others.

“I’m a proponent for seniors,” Neal said. “Since we have been in this business, I’m realizing that the senior population … is the most untapped resource I think we have in this country.

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“There is so much to garner from seniors, and they are so willing and ready to share their experiences in life and the things that they have learned.”

Nominations for the contest are open through March 1, and can be lodged online at

Winners will be announced in April. A winner from each state selects a designated nonprofit charity to receive a $500 donation, while Home Instead will up the ante to $5,000 toward the national winner’s chosen charity.

The national winner, as well as each state’s top entrant, are profiled on the contest website’s Wall of Fame, and all winners also receive a “certificate in recognition of their inspiring volunteer efforts.”

According to Neal, communities are “missing the ball” if they don’t recognize the potential of seniors as productive citizens with much to offer.

“They’re not being tapped into,” he said. “We see it every day.”

Neal said Home Instead’s research found that 52 percent of seniors volunteer their time. “Of those, almost 100 percent say it’s important in comparison to other things that they do,” he said. “Ninety-five percent feel they are healthier and happier because they volunteer.”

These statistics are testament to the value inherent in seniors, Neal said.

To be nominated, seniors must be age 65 or older and volunteer at least 15 hours per month. The full official rules can be found on the website, and nominations can also be mailed to Salute to Senior Service, P.O. Box 285, Bellevue, NE 68005.

For more information about Salute to Senior Service or the Home Instead Senior Care network’s services, call 774-5051.