By Nicole Long, MSW, LICSW,  

CEO of Old Colony Elder Services  

April is National Volunteer Month, a time to celebrate and honor volunteers who help make a difference in the lives of so many and in the communities they serve.

Volunteers are all around, dedicating their time and effort to many different nonprofit organizations and causes. Volunteers have a beneficial influence in countless ways. For instance, volunteers provide daily meals to families in need and to homebound older adults, assist with home renovations for those not able to complete the work themselves, help shape a younger generation by reading to children, write letters of support to deployed U.S. service members, and help care for animals, the environment, and many other causes.

The benefits of volunteering are significant. Volunteering provides a vital connection to others and to the community. Studies have associated volunteering with reduced depression and living longer. Not only that, volunteering helps keep the brain active, which contributes to cognitive health. Research has also shown that volunteerism within organizations can boost morale.

Those who volunteer share their knowledge and experiences with organizations and causes that benefit from it, while building on skills they already have and developing new skills along the way.

Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) has a volunteer center located at 204 South Meadow Rd. in Plymouth that serves as a central resource for volunteers as well as for local agencies offering volunteer opportunities in Plymouth County. Stop by or schedule an appointment to visit the volunteer center to learn about the variety of short- and long-term opportunities that are available to fit your lifestyle and interests.

Aspiring volunteers can individually talk with volunteer program staff who can help locate opportunities that fit your interests and skill set. OCES’s volunteer program includes Meals on Wheels and the money management program, as well as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Plymouth County, available for individuals age 55+. The volunteer center is equipped with computers for researching opportunities, as well as brochures and other literature from organizations seeking volunteers. It also serves as a designated space for volunteers to work together on specific projects, such as letter writing to troops for National Days of Service and Remembrance. OCES assists service partner organizations such as Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, local food banks, and Veterans Service Agencies that rely on volunteers.

Do you have a passion for helping others? Do you want to contribute to your community and help enhance people’s lives? Consider becoming one of the 63 million Americans who volunteer each year. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, RSVP at OCES’s volunteer center by visiting

Celebrating 50 years of care and collaboration

OCES, the largest provider of in-home and community-based services for older adults and people living with disabilities in Plymouth County and surrounding areas, is celebrating 50 years of care and collaboration in 2024. To learn more about OCES’s 50th anniversary and the special fundraising campaign, visit

About the Author: Nicole Long is the Chief Executive Officer of Old Colony Elder Services (OCES). Founded in 1974, OCES is a private, non-profit organization proudly serving greater Plymouth County and surrounding communities. OCES is designated as one of 25 Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OCES’s mission is to support the independence and dignity of older adults and individuals with disabilities by providing essential information and services that promote healthy and safe living. The agency offers a number of programs to serve older adults, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information call 508-584-1561 or visit