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Social & Civic Engagement

When a person is socially and civically engaged, you know it. It's the older adult who goes to the local school to be a "buddy;" it's the dads in the neighborhood organizing the Independence Day block party; it's the woman who lives down the street with the bumper sticker that says, "Teach a Child to Read."
No matter what the cause or project, you will see people who are:

  • Leading and managing thoughtful change in their community.
  • Building vibrant communities for all ages.
  • Capturing energy and expertise of persons.
  • Connecting and contributing in meaningful ways.
  • Inspiring passion and purpose in individual lives.

In a vibrant community for all ages, people say "YES" to life. They engage in service to the community, and they have opportunities for meaningful work. Family, neighbors and friends maintain meaningful connections with one another and older adults have opportunities to give and receive practical and social support. Residents participate in intergenerational community activities — social, civic, cultural and recreational. Life-long learning is available to everyone.

Civic engagement, in particular, means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community and advocating for thoughtful change, through both political and non-political processes.

Imagine KC — Age, Engage

This Imagine KC episode looks at programs and activities that keep older adults engaged in our communities in significant ways. It features individuals who have found their "second act" through volunteering, paid employment and other activities, and organizations that help older adults stay involved.

Original air date: Thursday, June 27, 2013, on KCPT

Watch this episode on YouTube »

United Way's Get Connected website is a full service volunteer information center that provides both local non-profits and local volunteers the opportunity to connect through meaningful volunteer opportunities. Projects range from one-hour events to ongoing needs. Currently, 85 local non-profits are actively seeking volunteers on the site. 

For more social and civic engagement resources, visit our Online Resources and Regional Resources pages.