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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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For Individuals > For Current Members and Volunteers >
 
Stories of Service

 

Senior Corps

 
McKenzie "Kenzie" Brannon
RSVP – Durham, NC
 

When McKenzie Brannon retired in January 2001, his wife feared he’d drive her crazy at home. He had no real hobbies or pastimes. But, he knew he was going to get busy and busy he has been with an active volunteer life as an RSVP volunteer. First, he joined Habitat for Humanity where he volunteers every Thursday with a group of male retirees self-proclaimed “The Geezers.”

By keeping his eyes and ears open, he soon learned from a local radio station of the Reading Buddies program. Now, every Monday, he provides one-on-one help to beginning readers at a nearby elementary school. Many of the children he encounters can’t spell their first names, or speak English as a Second Language. But according to Kenzie: “When I’m coming out of there on Mondays, I’m floating on a cloud. It’s the most challenging [volunteer experience] but most rewarding.”

With his other days of the week, Kenzie serves as a COMPEER, a companion peer to two mental health patients. After developing a strong friendship with his first companion, Kenzie requested a more challenging patient — and that’s just what he got. His second peer had previously gone through three companions in one year. Now, Kenzie has even gotten his two companions, whom he considers friends for life, involved in volunteering. They often accompany him on his Meals on Wheels route every week.

Kenzie has been serving the same clients through Meals on Wheels for more than four years. It is the one volunteer initiative he is involved in for which he has agreed to be on the Board of Directors because they are active and very hands-on. “I prefer to do rather than talk about doing,” Kenzie says.

Kenzie Brannon’s advice to other recent retirees is the same advice that he took from a close friend upon his retirement, “You’ve been working for someone else for 40 years; now it’s time to work for God and your fellow human beings.”

 

 
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