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Second Act: Our New Volunteer Program

When Lou Medeiros retired in 2008 from a career as a toolmaker, he had to make important decisions about his health coverage. So he read about all his options, then went down to the East Providence Senior Center to ask a few questions. The staff were so impressed with his knowledge that they asked him to be a volunteer and help other people with their health plan decisions.

Lou joined the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by East Bay Community Action Program and started volunteering at the senior center. Nine years later, Lou has assisted hundreds of clients and saved them thousands of dollars.“I search through all the prescription drug plans in the state to help people find the lowest cost plan for their medications. I helped one client find a new plan that cut her costs from $12,000 a year to $1,000 a year. It really makes me feel like I’m making a difference.”

Join our new volunteerism program

Interested in giving volunteering a try? BCBSRI is partnering with state agencies to create Second Act—a new program for our members that aims to connect BlueCHiP for Medicare members like Lou with volunteer opportunities, from being a foster grandparent to serving meals to tutoring. Hundreds of local organizations could benefit from your skills and experience. To find a good match for your interests, contact these state agencies:

  • Serve Rhode Island
    (401) 331-2298
  • Corporation for National and Community Service/RSVP
    Rhode Island State Office
    (401) 528-5426

Lou says that he never had time to volunteer before he retired. “But now I have an extra 40 hours a week that I’m not working,” he says. “Try a few hours a day or a few hours a week, whatever you can spare. I think you’ll find it really rewarding.”

5 ways volunteering does good for you

Studies have found that volunteering:

  1. May help you live longer
  2. Helps you stay physically active
  3. Introduces you to new people
  4. Lowers your risk for depression
  5. Provides a sense of purpose