To kick off Older Americans Month, Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon announced Tuesday, May 1, the launch of SHARE Minnesota, part of the One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors and administered through the Senior LinkAge Line® and Minnesota Board on Aging. SHARE Minnesota is a virtual network of agencies that can help find volunteer opportunities for seniors who want to volunteer but may not know where to go.

Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon, "Minnesota seniors are living longer, getting more from their lives and are giving more to their communities. It is important that we tap into the valuable resource and expertise of older Minnesotans, and SHARE Minnesota can help."


Photos from the launch (click on an image to see a larger photo)


There are so many reasons to volunteer!

  1. You can develop a new skill or learn a new hobby.

  2. Be a part of your community.

  3. Meet new people.

  4. Accomplish a personal sense of achievement.

  5. Be a community leader.

  6. Transition into retirement.

  7. Enhance your network when transitioning to a new job.

  8. Inspire other people with your passion.

  9. Find creative ways to put your talent to work.

Call the Senior LinkAge Line One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors® at 1-800-333-2433 to link to an expert who can help you find the best way to volunteer.

Before you call

  1. Think about the things you might be interested in and the number of hours you can volunteer.

  2. Think about what sparks your passion and what skills you might have—be creative!

  3. Ask about volunteering opportunities that may pay a stipend and think about if this is something you'd like more information about.

  4. Write down your thoughts and then share with the call specialist.

SHARE Minnesota materials

MN Seniors Receive National Awards

Elden Johnson, Health Insurance Counselor from Hallock, receives MetLife Foundation Award for extraordinary volunteer work.

MetLife Foundation "Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards" were presented on May 9, 2008 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.   Met Life in partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging honored older volunteers who have made exemplary contributions and provided outstanding service to their communities.

Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging was proud to have our volunteer, Elden Johnson, Hallock, MN selected as a recipient of the Award.  Elden began volunteering as a Senior Surf presenter and continues in this capacity, holding sessions at area libraries and senior centers, teaching seniors the basics of computer and internet use.  His knowledge of computers and his patient, gentle style of teaching make him well-qualified for this position and he gets rave reviews from his students and library personnel.

Elden is also a state-certified Health Insurance Counselor.  One of his biggest areas of contribution has been with the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.  His computer expertise made him a natural to complete online comparisons of drug plans, review the comparisons with beneficiaries, and enroll them into their selected plan.  He was a "one stop shop". 

Elden has also been instrumental in organizing medication management sessions at the Hallock Senior Center.  These sessions allow individuals to have a one to one counseling session with a licensed, specially trained pharmacist to review their medications and insure their current drug therapy is both safe and effective. 

This award was presented to Elden for his volunteer work at Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging by Charles Pettigrew, Senior Business Consultant MetLife Foundation.  In addition, he serves and volunteers in many other ways in his community.

The Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging is a program of the Northwest Regional Development Commission and serves 21 counties in Northern and Western Minnesota.  Our goal is to support the dignity and independence of older persons.  Our State Health Insurance program and volunteers provides high quality information and education to assist Medicare beneficiaries with understanding the basics of Medicare and choosing supplements, Advantage plans, or Part D plans as well as assisting with many other needs and areas of concern for seniors.

Congratulations on this national award, Elden, and thank you for your service and impact on others and your community.

Betty Johnson, Cushing, MN, honored by the U.S. Department Administration on Aging. Betty Johnson recently received a 2006 Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award for empowering seniors to prevent healthcare fraud. This award was given to her at a ceremony in Washington, DC in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Senior Medicare Patrol program. She was one out of 11 in the country to receive the honor.

Betty, a dedicated volunteer of the SMP for the past five years, became involved while caring for her elderly mother and husband and trying to understand the complexities of the many medical bills and claims.  Betty share that so many older adults to not know or understand how to navigate the system and she wanted them to know there is help.

Working with SMP has taught her that errors are not always fraud, but may have been a simple coding error.  She shared, "It is important to be able to learn how to detect abuse and fraud or read a summary notice.  Many agencies would not give clear answers when I worked on this for my husband.  It got to the point that the billing departments would not even talk to me anymore.  Who helps those isolated people who have no one to advocate for them?  That is what the SMP is for, that is what makes it such a valuable service for all."