When I was a mom of a 6 month old I decided to start volunteering with my infant. We served lunch twice a month for 50 older adults that had emmigrated to the United States approximately 50 years ago. Most of them spoke broken English or no English at all and they did not all speak the same language. They did all communicate with gestures, smiles and hugs and looked forward to the warmth of the companionship, the delicious hot lunch, the entertainment that was hired and my 6 month old. From the moment I walked in, my son was taken out of my arms and passed around to each participant. He was tickled, sung to , pinched, fed and cooed. He returned their affection by showing them how he walked, giggled at their sounds and silly faces and ate from their plates. My second son started volunteering with that group when he was three weeks old. I couldn't wait to get back there. They are grown boys now and when I look back on those days I think about the fact that there were three generations in that room and all were getting something very meaningful out of those lunches. I'm not sure who the volunteers really were. Today, as a Geriatric Care Manager, I believe that volunteering plays a bigger part in our healthy aging process than we realize. There is more and more research showing that volunteering in older adults have significant health benefits. It provides a sense of purpose, helps mentally when undergoing transitions such as retirement and loss of a spouse or close friend, lowers mortality and disability and highers levels of well-being and lowers rates of depression. The Corporation for National & Community Service recommended designing health interventions based on volunteering. I have seen this first hand. An older adult who had been living in a planned community became more and more isolated until she started to work with elementary school students on a project and then couldn't wait until her weekly visits to see those smiles and interact with those bundles of energy. An older adult who was aging in place in their home and was part of a community gardening project. He had been under the weather and cancelled all his appointments except that one. He could not miss being there on time for fear of letting down his fellow volunteer gardeners. It doesn't matter what age we are, having something bigger than just ourselves is what gets us out of bed in the morning. Imagine, a prescription from the doctor: take two aspirin and take the time to give of yourself. I'm in.