THE GIVE 5 STORY
Social isolation is a serious and growing problem. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, it is the top health concern for seniors. According to a recent New York Times report, a wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us – BYU researchers noting that it causes the equivalent health impact of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones. One recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent.
Greg Burris, United Way of the Ozarks President / CEO and former Springfield City Manager, and Cora Scott, Springfield Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, created the civic engagement program called Give 5 while working together at the City of Springfield to address five macro-trends that are impacting every community: a wave of talent on the move – 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day for 19 years; social isolation is a large and growing health issue – the largest health risk for seniors; a growing need to strengthen community fabric – the power of a shared experience and meeting people outside of your bubble; an increased importance of volunteerism – nonprofits are in need of additional skills and talents in this hyper-competitive labor market; and the largest transfer of wealth in history is underway. Give 5 is a way for retirees and seniors to apply their talents and passions directly to a community’s primary areas of need. The “civic matchmaking” program provides the journey to find the best individual fit between program participant and nonprofit volunteer opportunity.
Friends Of Give 5