The staff of The Senior Source would like to nominate the Golden Girls, one of our most active and longest running volunteer groups, for the Points of Light George Bush Inspiration Award.
The Golden Girls are all retirees (ages 55+) who come from around the world – Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Africa, to name a few and all volunteer through the AmeriCorps Senior RSVP Program. When the group first started, only women participated, but in recent years a few men have joined as well.
The 40 members of the Golden Girls are all members of the Dallas Jamatkhana & Ismaili Center. Their faith tradition is a strong motivator. Ismailis have a strong ethos of volunteerism, service and building bridges in the larger community.
Yasmeen Ali has been involved since 2001 and coordinates the group. When a need for volunteers is identified, Yasmeen enlists as many volunteers as are needed. The Senior Source, sponsor organization for the RSVP program, provides transportation from the Center to and from the volunteer sites at no cost.
The Golden Girls volunteer throughout the year helping in any way possible at several non-profit organizations that include: the Friendly Visitor Program; at Parkland Hospital; at UT Southwestern Medical Center; Volunteer Now; Ronald McDonald House; and Community Hospice of Texas.
Yasmeen says the volunteer work not only helps the agencies they serve; it also helps the volunteers.
“I’m retired now,” she said. “If I just stayed at home, I’d end up depressed. This volunteer program reduces stress and isolation and provides a purpose.”
Yasmeen adds that she actively recruits fellow Ismailis in the Carrollton center, especially those who may have lost a partner. “I tell them, there is no time to cry,” she said. “Come here and work with us. This is a good cause. I’m really fortunate and blessed that God gave me the opportunity to do so much things for the community. At the end of a day of volunteering, I feel so happy.”