Legions of volunteers, affectionately called Del Webbcorps™ spend their time
organizing food drives, tutoring children, supporting armed forces
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – April 00, 2011 – Del Webb communities are legendary for their generous amenity offerings and lifestyle programming, but Del Webb residents who live in these communities nationwide are quietly becoming known for another type of generosity entirely : volunteerism.
Del Webb is also one of the largest contributors to community service organizations. With more than 300,000 residents, Judy Julison, Del Webb’s national director of lifestyle operations, conservatively estimates their volunteer time in excess of three million service hours, benefitting about 1,000 local non-profit organizations.
“Volunteering is a significant part of the Del Webb culture,” said Judy Julison, Del Webb national director of lifestyle operations. “The Baby Boomer generation has not been shy in sharing their time and talents. Active and healthy, they unselfishly give thousands of hours a year to community organizations and other groups to enhance both their lives and the quality of life for other people.”
According to the 2010 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, 60 to 70 percent of 55 and 64-year-olds survey said they are or plan to participate in volunteer activities. Most cited “personal fulfillment,” “giving back to the community,” and “helping others” as the main reasons why volunteerism was so important.
Steven Olander, a resident of Del Webb Naples, volunteers his time at the local city’s Literacy Program, teaching English to the new immigrants in the area. In addition, he volunteers at his local church and is a resident ambassador of Del Webb Naples.
There is self-satisfaction of showing others that you care for them,” said Mr. Olander. “Enthusiasm is contagious and when you are able to encourage people, you make it a better day for all involved.”
In celebration of National Volunteer Week, which takes place this week, Del Webb is honoring many of its volunteers throughout the country, including volunteer recognition celebrations at several communities.
At Solera at Diamond Valley in Hemet, California, Tootsie Martinez will be one of a few hundred volunteers recognized at the annual volunteer luncheon. Mrs. Martinez and her husband, Jess Martinez volunteer at the Ramona VNA and Hospice on a regular basis.
The 65-year-old Los Angeles native moved to Solera three years ago and was inspired to volunteer for hospice after caring for her mother for nine years until she died at age 102.
“I saw the wonderful way volunteers treated my mom and I wanted to do the same for others,” Martinez said. “I talk and walk with them, as well as sing songs. They may be total strangers at first, but you fall in love with them so easily.”
Martinez also helps provide exposure for programs in need as a member of the Solera Volunteer Council, which she fits in her busy schedule of line dancing, walking, jogging, water aerobics, swimming and all the other activities she enjoys in the community.
“You definitely get much more out volunteering than you give,” Martinez said. “An appreciative smile just warms your heart.”
At Sun City Apple Valley in Southern California, nearly 200 residents will be honored this week at its annual volunteer luncheon. Andrea Kaplan, a 54-year-old resident who moved from Connecticut, is one who volunteers for a myriad of organizations including St. Mary’s Medical Center, Yucca Loma Elementary School and as a literacy volunteer at the Newton T. Bass Library.
“It’s so important for people to give something of themselves. It’s a way to pay back society for any good fortune you have in your life,” said Kaplan, who despite her active volunteering, is modest about her contributions. “Giving of yourself can be much more valuable than giving money.”
Kaplan is also an 18-gallon donor of blood platelets at the Lifestream Blood Bank in Hesperia. The 54-year-old was inspired to donate platelets after her brother-in-law died of leukemia.
For more information about volunteerism at Del Webb communities, visit www.delwebb.com/webbcorps.
About Del Webb
Award-winning Del Webb active adult communities provide a vibrant, enriched lifestyle for those ages 55 and older, creating an unmatched experience for “retirement.” Del Webb communities began with the original Sun City which opened outside Phoenix, Arizona in 1960 and have grown to include more than 50 communities currently open for new home sales in 21 states. Del Webb is the best-known brand of active adult communities in America and draws on its 50 years of experience of providing residents an engaging life which fulfills their creative, physical, mental, and social needs. For more information on Del Webb, see www.delwebb.com.