One of the best ways to show gratitude for all of the blessings we share is to give back to your community.

Through our “Boomers Get Connected” initiative, Truman Heartland Community Foundation is striving to assist baby boomers as they are nearing or in retirement to more easily find volunteer opportunities to give back to their community, stay engaged and stay active.

Through our partnership with the United Way of Greater Kansas City, we have nearly 100 volunteer opportunities in Eastern Jackson County posted on the United Way Get Connected website. These opportunities include special volunteer needs for charitable organizations during the holiday season and a number of them are great family volunteer opportunities.

Over the summer we reached out to nonprofit organizations, parks and recreation departments, school districts, hospitals and local governments to get them plugged in to this system so we would have a central place that boomers in Eastern Jackson County could go to more easily find volunteer opportunities. On Oct. 1, we began our promotion to reach baby boomers and help them “get connected” with volunteer opportunities.

So, if you are a baby boomer and feeling grateful during this holiday season, I encourage you to go to the THCF website, find “Initiatives and Impact” on the menu on the left and click on “Boomers Get Connected.” Here is the URL http://www.thcf.org/Boomers-Get-Connected.

You will learn how to easily sign up for this no cost service and discover where your talents and time can be utilized to make a difference in our community. Our goal is to connect 600 boomers with volunteer opportunities between Oct. 1, 2017, and Oct. 1, 2018. That’s approximately 10 percent of the 500 baby boomers reaching retirement age every month in our Eastern Jackson County community.

We also need your assistance in spreading the word about this new service. We are reaching out to retiree organizations, churches and retirement communities for their assistance with sharing this free service with their members. If you have a group that you think should hear from us, please let me know. We would be pleased to meet with them and help them get connected. I can be reached at hanson@thcf.org or phone 816-912-4181.

We have many things to be thankful for this holiday season, and one at the top of my list is living in a great community where people care about one another and give of their talent and time to their community. Happy Thanksgiving!

– Phil Hanson is president and CEO of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, based in Independence.