By serving breakfast, seniors save the day

A group of seniors with imagination and initiative recently demonstrated how committed volunteers can make a difference in a community.

When the only breakfast spot in the small farming community of Rochester, Mass., closed, seniors who lived there lost an im-portant gathering spot. But then the volunteers came. Older adults living in the town started a community breakfast program at the nearby senior center — and the volunteers ran the program on their own.

Four years later, volunteers keep Ye Olde Breakfast Shoppe cooking.

The town’s seniors can start their day with a hot meal and smiles from friends who keep them healthy and active.

Volunteers reap the health benefits that come from helping others, and running the program keeps them learning every day.

And the senior center is now helping three times as many people who need counseling, transportation, exercise, wellness programs and the like.

Through its PowerUP! Initiative, the Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative, a project of the U.S. Administration on Aging, is striving to create 1 million volunteers in aging and disability services by 2015. To learn more, visit your aging or disability services organization or go to the website at