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Group wants 100,000 volunteers

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A new message for people 55 years old and older asks them to be a volunteer and have a friend join them.

This call to service is from Senior Corps of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which has launched a campaign to recruit 100,000 volunteers to support and strengthen their communities.

The campaign is called "Ask a Friend, Share Your Volunteer Spirit." The goal is twofold: to encourage nonvolunteers to begin serving their community and to encourage current volunteers to get a friend involved.

The primary reason people volunteer is simply because they are asked, and Senior Corps is asking.

Volunteering also is good for the individuals who participate. Research studies have documented the physical and emotional benefits of helping others, which include increased life expectancy, well-being and life satisfaction.

Volunteering allows people to develop new skills and attain valuable employment experience.

To begin volunteering or to ask a friend to volunteer, visit the campaign Web site at

The Web site allows individuals to enter their ZIP codes and interests to "match" volunteer opportunities with their lifestyles. It also provides helpful resources for getting friends engaged in their communities and Spanish speaking citizens are offered campaign information en Espaņol.

And, there is a link to increase the size of the text, for those who need it. Individuals without Web access can call a toll-free number — (800) 424-8867 or TTY (800) 833-3722 — to obtain information about the campaign or sign up to volunteer.

Currently, more than half a million Senior Corps volunteers are engaged in such activities such as tutoring and mentoring children with special needs, working with local police and fire departments to keep neighborhoods safe, helping homebound individuals remain independent in their own homes, and building houses for the homeless.

Volunteers serve in all 50 states, the Dis-trict of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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