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3 Ways Older Adults Can Pay It Forward: Redefine retirement through community connection



(Family Features) This time of year always provides plenty to celebrate and commemorate with the warmer weather and longer days.

May is also Older Americans Month, a time for celebrating the contributions that older adults make in our country from coast to coast. This year’s theme, “Aging Unbound,” promotes the independence, fulfillment and joy older Americans can experience by choosing their own paths as they age.

Instead of letting age define their circumstances, older Americans are embracing change, pushing boundaries and transforming their communities through creativity, commitment and service. Everyone benefits when older adults remain engaged, independent and included.

Volunteering is one way older adults can improve their quality of life through connections with others, and it’s also been proven to make measurable improvements in the mental and physical health of the volunteers themselves. In fact, 84% of volunteers report stable or improving health after one year of service and 88% report lower levels of feelings of isolation, according to a study conducted by AmeriCorps Seniors.

As a first stop for anyone looking to explore volunteer opportunities, AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors connect individuals and organizations through service and volunteering. AmeriCorps Seniors matches Americans 55-plus with opportunities to improve their communities through the contribution of time, passion, skills and experience.

“AmeriCorps Seniors is tailor-made for those aged 55 and older,” said Atalaya Sergi, director, AmeriCorps Seniors. “It provides a space for older adults to take charge of their ‘second act’ and use their time in valuable and impactful ways. All of our volunteers share a goal of making a difference in their communities, and many see their involvement as a chance to make friends and form meaningful connections.”

More than 140,000 Americans are matched with volunteer opportunities each year through three programs: RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program and the Senior Companion Program.

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“Our programs offer varying levels of involvement, interaction, time commitments and work with a diverse set of partners,” Sergi said. “We believe there’s a good fit for everyone and many opportunities for volunteers to meet like-minded peers who share their interests or pursue volunteer opportunities that can involve their families, too.”

Consider these ways older adults can get involved in their communities.

Respond to the Needs of Your Community

With more than 115,000 volunteers, RSVP is the largest of the programs. It is a popular choice due to its flexible time commitments and diverse ways to serve. The program partners with national, state and local organizations to offer volunteers a wide range of service opportunities, from building houses to delivering food.

“All the people you meet when you’re a volunteer tell you their stories and experiences,” said Srini Srinivas, a volunteer serving with the RSVP program. “You find that very rewarding and it enriches your life. Doing this service is a way of paying it forward. It supports the community. It keeps me active, which is a good thing. You also feel useful.”

Serve as Mentors

For older adults interested in working with children, the Foster Grandparent Program pairs volunteers with local schools and other programs focused on children, caring for and working with classes, groups or individual students. Volunteers serving with the Foster Grandparent Program serve between five and 30 hours each week based on their availability and may be eligible for a small monetary stipend to offset the cost of volunteering.

“My motto is, ‘There is never a never, you can always accomplish something.’ I’m here to help the kids learn, be there for them and teach them as much as I can,” said Priscilla Tsethlikai, a volunteer since 2016. “They’re teaching me, and at the same time, I’m teaching them.”

Provide a Helping Hand to Other Older Adults

Fostering relationships with other older adults is also a rewarding, and needed, option. Volunteers serving with the Senior Companion Program give about 20 hours each week and spend time with older adults in need of companionship or help with day-to-day tasks such as grocery shopping, getting to appointments or paying bills. Volunteers also may provide respite to family members caring for loved ones with chronic illnesses. The program may offer a small monetary stipend for volunteers who qualify.

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“Volunteering has changed me, it keeps me grounded,” volunteer Carmen Swanson said. “When you help others and do for others, you enrich your life. My favorite part is being available and of service to them. Whatever their desire is, whatever they’d like to achieve – if I can execute the task, follow it through and accomplish it then it makes my day.”

While it may mean different things to different people, this year’s Older Americans Month theme of “Aging Unbound” provides one overarching sentiment: growing older can and should be empowering.

“We know there are stereotypes surrounding older adults, but we want people to shift their thinking,” Sergi said. “See the ways older adults continue to contribute to your life and communities, appreciate their wisdom and lived experiences, and join them in new endeavors. When the older adults in our communities are engaged, valued and genuinely included, we all benefit.”

For more information, and to find volunteer opportunities near you, visit

Support Older Adults in Your Community

Though many older adults remain independent and engaged as they age, some may find they are no longer able to complete daily tasks and require assistance. By looking for ways to assist older adults with tasks and engage with them intellectually, you can help them continue to live fulfilling lives. Consider these ways you can make a difference in the lives of older adults in your area:

Offer your services. This may be especially useful if you are a skilled tradesman, such as a plumber, carpenter, electrician or mechanic, or have technical skills and can assist with navigating devices such as computers and cell phones.

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Volunteer at an older adult community. Assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care communities often rely on volunteers to host game nights and social events to help residents socialize and stay active.

Assist with household chores. While many older adults choose to age in their own homes, they may require assistance with cooking, cleaning, yardwork and more.

Help with transportation. If you have a car and a valid driver’s license, driving older adults can help them complete their errands more quickly and safely. They may need to get to a doctor’s appointment, go to the grocery store, visit the post office or complete other tasks outside of the home that a driver can assist with.

AmeriCorps Seniors

Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network. He is married to Rebecca Washington


Capital Tacos Partners with Make-A-Wish to Bring Child’s Culinary Dreams to Reality

Nationally-Acclaimed QSR Concept Launches Nationwide Campaign to Benefit Foundation



TAMPA BAY, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — Capital Tacos, one of the nation’s most beloved Tex-Mex franchise brands, has announced a month-long campaign in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation® running from June 5th to July 5th. During that window, Capital Tacos locations across Tampa and Orlando will introduce the Make-A-Wish Mac N Queso Kids Meal to the menu and donate 100% of the profits to support the wish-making efforts of the foundation.

“To be able to take part in such a meaningful, life-changing endeavor has been beyond rewarding for everyone here at Capital Tacos,” said Josh Luger, Co-Founder of Capital Tacos. “It’s a powerful reminder and reinforcement of our daily mission: to be an asset to the communities we serve, to be a family-friendly destination, and to drive connectivity through our passion for food and flavor.” 

At the heart of this partnership is a Wish Kid – ‘Chef’ Diego’ – who, after successfully undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, expressed his dream to meet one of America’s most recognizable and influential celebrity chefs. A wish that the Make-A-Wish team is gearing up to bring to fruition, and that compelled Capital Tacos to invite him to go behind-the-scenes with their culinary crew to craft the campaign’s menu special.

“We are delighted to partner with Capital Tacos to bring hope, strength, and joy to local children battling critical illnesses. Not only did they provide joy for wish kid Diego as he worked with the Capital Tacos team to create the Make-A-Wish Mac N Queso Kids Meal, but sales of that meal will go a long way in granting wishes like Diego’s. Thank you, Capital Tacos, for your incredible support.” – Anne Cuba, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida.

The Make-A-Wish Mac N Queso Kids Meal features a never-before-seen Tex-Mex take on Mac N Cheese: with Capital Tacos signature queso leading a cheesy mix alongside freshly boiled noodles. Like all Capital Tacos kids’ meals, it will also come with a choice of side – hand-cut chips or hand-spiced fries – as well as mini churros with whipped cream for dessert and a fountain drink of choice.  

For more information on the Capital Tacos franchise brand, please visit

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Capital Tacos is a nationally-ranked, fast-casual Tex-Mex restaurant franchise founded in Tampa, Florida, that currently operates, or will imminently be operating, across the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Colorado.  They’ve been named one of America’s Top 40 Hottest Fast Casual Brands and one of the 11 Taco Chains Disrupting Fast Casual Sector by QSR Magazine, a top 3 taco in the country by Business Insider/Foursquare, and the top taco restaurant in Tampa / St. Petersburg by Yelp, amongst a variety of other awards. The emerging franchise brand is known for its scratch-made, innovative, and unmatched Tex-Mex flavors, pushing the boundaries of quality and creativity that the sector has become known to provide. Capital Tacos is currently seeking qualified candidates to help further expand the franchise to select markets across the Southeast and the country more generally. 


Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish is the #1 most trusted nonprofit operating locally in all 50 states throughout the U.S. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff, and more than 24,000 volunteers across the country, Make-A-Wish delivers hope and joy to children and their families when they need it most. Make-A-Wish aims to bring the power of wishing to every child with a critical illness because wish experiences can help improve emotional and physical health. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 550,000 wishes in nearly 50 countries worldwide; more than 360,000 wishes in the U.S. and its territories alone. Locally, Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida is celebrating 7,000 wishes granted since 1994. For more information about Make-A-Wish® Central and Northern Florida, visit

SOURCE Capital Tacos

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Hard Rock International Encourages All to “LOVE OUT LOUD” this Pride Month

Hard Rock Honors Partnership with Multi-Platinum, Genre-Bending Artist Halsey with $250,000 Donation to LGBTQIA+ Causes via the Hard Rock Heals Foundation



with New Limited-Edition Retail and Series of Global Events Throughout June with HALSEY

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — Hard Rock International is celebrating its ongoing support of the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month, bringing to life the brand’s core founding mottos, “Love All, Serve All” and “All Is One,” while encouraging allies everywhere to “Love Out Loud.” Throughout the month of June, Hard Rock is releasing limited-edition merchandise and participating in special activations and fundraising efforts in support of Hard Rock Heals Foundation®, the charitable arm of Hard Rock®, along with local charities and nonprofit partners that work tirelessly to serve and elevate LGBTQIA+ communities.

Hard Rock International “Love Out Loud” partner Halsey designed two co-branded T-shirts as part of the Pride 2023 retail collection, which will benefit LGBTQIA+ charities such as Outright International and Human Rights Campaign via Hard Rock Heals Foundation. (Photo Credit: Sam Dameshek)

“At Hard Rock, acts of service and authentic inclusion are engrained in our brand DNA and everyday mottos, ensuring that all Team Members and guests at our properties are treated with love and respect,” said Stephanie Piimauna, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Seminole Hard Rock. “As part of our commitment, we will continue to demonstrate allyship and amplify LGBTQIA+ voices in our local communities and around the world.”

Partnership with Halsey

To kick off Pride 2023, Hard Rock has announced a partnership with GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum, genre-bending artist, Halsey – known for pushing creative boundaries, while influencing and impacting beyond music by advocating for important causes such as the LGBTQIA+ community. To celebrate the partnership and Pride Month, Hard Rock has pledged a minimum of $250,000 to the Human Rights Campaign and Outright International, via the Hard Rock Heals Foundation.

As part of the Pride Retail Collection, Halsey, who is a queer artist themself, has designed two co-branded Hard Rock x Halsey Signature Series Pride Edition T-shirts. Additionally, as part of the “Love Out Loud” campaign, Hard Rock will be hosting a private performance at Hard Rock Cafe London Old Park Lane, where the brand was founded. This VIP event will include a panel of notable guest speakers and an intimate performance by Halsey. Halsey will also donate special memorabilia to Hard Rock’s celebrated collection of more than 87,000 pieces, live during the event.

Following the private event at Old Park Lane, a special series of Halsey with String Ensemble Hard Rock Live shows will take place at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood (June 24), Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana (June 30) and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain (July 2).

Limited-Edition Pride Retail Collection

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In addition to the exclusive Halsey merchandise, Hard Rock is releasing a specially designed retail collection in honor of Pride Month, paying tribute to the brand’s “Love All, Serve All” and “All Is One” mottos. The uniquely designed, limited-edition merchandise, includes colorful Hard Rock t-shirts, bandanas, socks, cups, keychains and pins, of which a portion of proceeds will benefit LGBTQIA+ charities throughout the globe. The Pride 2023 retail collection is now available through July in stores and online at Rock Shops®.

Cafe Activations

Pride is a global celebration and declaration of love, which is why participating Hard Rock Cafes worldwide will be hosting a variety of local activations to proudly “Love Out Loud” alongside the LGBTQIA+ community. Activations will range from live performances to local Pride menus, customized playlists and more. Hard Rock Cafe will also participate as a sponsor in several Pride parades across the US and Europe, including those in New York City, London, Copenhagen, and Nice.

Love Out Loud Suites & Hotel Activations

Hard Rock Hotel properties around the world are partnering with notable LGBTQIA+ figures in their local communities to create exclusive experiences including one-of-a-kind curated suites, unique food and beverage offerings, entertainment experiences, Pride playlists, and community fundraising events.

In addition, Hard Rock Hotels is working with street artists known for integrating LGBTQIA+ themes in their art, to create meaningful paintings in select local communities where Hard Rock operates. 

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More than 70 percent of the 87,000 pieces of authentic music memorabilia on display at Hard Rock properties are dedicated to LGBTQIA+ artists and iconic moments in music history. 

For additional information on how Hard Rock supports the LGBTQIA+ community and diversity, please visit  Information on Hard Rock Heals Foundation can be found at

About Hard Rock Heals Foundation®:

The Hard Rock Heals Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and oversees all philanthropic outreach for Hard Rock International. Music is energy; it stirs emotion, inspires, connects, and restores. The Hard Rock Heals Foundation exists to improve lives through the power of music. Since its inception in 1971, Hard Rock International has brought people together through the power of music. We have developed partnerships with artists ranging from emerging to iconic in support of charitable efforts around the world. The Hard Rock Heals Foundation provides grants and assistance to individuals whose goal is to heal through the power of music. Partnerships with like-minded, music-centric organizations allow Hard Rock Heals Foundation the opportunity to improve lives and promote wellness.

About Hard Rock®:

Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 290 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 87,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock Hotels has been honored by J.D. Power’s North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study as the number one brand in Outstanding Guest Satisfaction for two consecutive years, and among the top Upper Upscale Hotels for four consecutive years. HRI became the first privately-owned gaming company designated a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal in 2021, and has since been honored threefold. Hard Rock was also honored by Forbes among the World’s Best Employers, as well as Best Employers for Women, Diversity and New Grads and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. In the 2022 Global Gaming Awards, Hard Rock was named Land-Based Operator of the Year for the second time in four years. In 2021, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos received first place ranking in the Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey conducted by Bristol Associates Inc. and Spectrum Gaming Group for six of the last seven years. Hard Rock International currently holds investment grades from primary investment rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Fitch Ratings (BBB). For more information on Hard Rock International, visit or

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SOURCE Hard Rock International

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2023 SKITTLES® Pride Packs highlight meaningful LGBTQ+ stories this June in collaboration with Audible, GLAAD and artists within the LGBTQ+ community.

NEWARK, N.J. /PRNewswire/ — As part of its ongoing mission to support and increase visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, the SKITTLES® brand is celebrating Pride 2023 by elevating LGBTQ+ stories through teaming up with Audible, actor and comedian Cameron Esposito’s QUEERY podcast, GLAAD, and the five talented artists who designed SKITTLES’ 2023 Pride packs. Starting today consumers can scan the QR code on any SKITTLES Pride pack, which will direct fans to a free collection of LGBTQ+ stories on Audible, upcoming special edition Pride episodes of Cameron Esposito’s QUEERY podcast and other meaningful stories of Pride.

SKITTLES® teams up with Audible, actor and comedian Cameron Esposito, GLAAD, and the five designers of SKITTLES’ 2023 Pride packs to support and increase visibility of the LGBTQ+ community by elevating LGBTQ+ stories. QR codes on each SKITTLES Pride pack will direct fans to a free collection of LGBTQ+ stories on Audible, special edition Pride episodes of Cameron Esposito’s QUEERY podcast, and other meaningful stories of Pride.

The SKITTLES Pride Audible collection, which features Audible Originals and excerpts from classic LGBTQ+ titles, is available to stream for free from now until July 31 and can be discovered through the QR code on pack or at The SKITTLES Pride collection was curated by multiple teams at Audible including Editorial, Marketing, and Content in collaboration with GLAAD. Categories of programming include Queer Fiction; Real People, Real Voices; and Audible Theater Originals. Audible’s June “5 Listens” was curated by the five LGBTQ+ artists who designed this year’s SKITTLES Pride packs: Zipeng Zhu, Symone Salib, Mady G, Bianca Xunise, and Shanée Benjamin. Free titles in the collection include Audible Originals like Sorry Charlie Miller and The Inheritance, plus excerpts from important LGBTQ+ literature such as Giovanni’s Room and Girl Woman Other.

To further elevate voices and stories in the community, SKITTLES is partnering with actor and comedian Cameron Esposito to develop special Pride edition episodes of her QUEERY podcast, highlighting the individual stories of the artists who designed the 2023 SKITTLES Pride Packs, and other LGBTQ+ storytellers. Fans can explore the episodes – which roll out starting in early June – and submit their own stories of Pride for a chance to be featured in a podcast episode by visiting

“The SKITTLES brand is proud to continue our four-year partnership with GLAAD and introduce new collaborations this year with Audible and Cameron Esposito, to help uplift and provide visibility to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Gabrielle Wesley, Chief Marketing Officer, Mars Wrigley North America. “The SKITTLES brand is honored to have the opportunity to help amplify voices from the LGBTQ+ community through the power of storytelling, which will help to increase support, generate inclusion, and build community.”

“We’re on a mission to ignite the world’s imagination by bringing stories, ideas and characters to life,” said James Finn, Head of Global Brand and Content Marketing, Audible. “Teaming up with SKITTLES for Pride 2023 epitomizes our focus and passion to elevate LGBTQIA+ voices that deserve to be heard.”

Earlier this month, SKITTLES unveiled five unique, colorful Pride packs designed by artists within the LGBTQ+ community. For every SKITTLES Pride pack purchased, SKITTLES will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to support GLAAD’s ongoing efforts to uplift and support the LGBTQ+ community. Beyond Pride month, SKITTLES supports GLAAD throughout the year with a focus on moments that shine a spotlight on visibility, including the annual GLAAD Media Awards and Spirit Day.

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“The ongoing support and partnership we receive from SKITTLES helps us advance our critical mission to further dialogue that leads to cultural change,” said Melissa Harris, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at GLAAD. “SKITTLES’ mission this year to spotlight LGBTQ+ stories is a profound initiative that can maximize awareness, support and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community while advancing diversity and inclusion.”

The limited-edition artist-designed SKITTLES Pride packs are available to purchase in 4oz Share Size Packs and 15.6oz Stand Up Pouches at select retailers nationwide from now through mid-July.

For more information about SKITTLES Pride initiatives, including the various partnerships and Pride packs artists, visit or follow SKITTLES on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and TikTok

Mars, Incorporated is driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. As a global, family-owned business, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world. 

Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality confectionery, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 140,000+ dedicated Associates. With almost $45 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including Ben’s Original™, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating a better world for pets through our global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services – including AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus and VCA™ – using cutting edge technology to develop breakthrough programs in genetic health screening and DNA testing. 

For more information about Mars, please visit Join us on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube

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GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.


Audible, Inc., an, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering global audiences a powerful way to enhance and enrich their lives through extraordinary content. Audible’s catalog includes more than 800,000 audio titles, including Audible Originals as well as audiobooks and podcasts from leading studios, print, audio and magazine publishers and world-renowned entertainers.


Cameron Esposito is an award-winning standup comic, actor, writer, bestselling author and podcast host. In addition to her work as a nationally touring headliner, Cameron has appeared in big budget films and beloved indies, on HBO, Hulu, NBC, CBS, Cartoon Network and more, including most recently on ABC’s A Million Little Things and The Rookie: Feds, Amazon’s With Love, and E!’s If We’re Being Honest With Laverne Cox. She also hosts her own podcasts, QUEERY – a series of hour-long conversations with some staffs of the brightest luminaries in the LGBTQ+ family – and Survive or Die Trying – a SONY comedy podcast about surviving life’s most, and least, serious situations. 

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SOURCE Mars, Incorporated

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