Earlier this month, I was in beautiful Portland, OR, and had the opportunity to visit a few organizations that are part of the thriving local encore scene. I came away humbled and impressed, both by the quality of their work and by their vision and leadership.
SAGE inspires people over 50 to give their time and talent to help younger generations. Metropolitan Family Services and the Encore Fellows Program of Social Ventures Partners-Portland use and deploy encore talent in innovative ways. And Bridge Meadows is a living example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts: This residential community includes adoptive families of foster children alongside older adults who, as “honorary grandparents,” participate in the care and nurture of the Bridge Meadows children, and everyone reaps the benefits. The love and health of this intentional, multigenerational community is palpable and inspiring.
What I saw in Portland reminded me a bit of what’s happening in Cleveland, OH, thanks to the longstanding commitment and unflagging support of the Cleveland Foundation. In 2013, they launched Encore Cleveland, connecting (and generously funding) a network of organizations that offer experienced adults myriad encore opportunities, including potential employment, fellowships, mentoring and volunteering, as well as guidance for budding encore entrepreneurs and high-level management support, via the BVU Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Cleveland even has its own Encore Prize, modeled after The Purpose Prize®. Applications are open until July 1 for the $25,000 2016 Encore Cleveland Prize, which will be awarded to a 50+ “Greater Clevelander” whose encore role integrates personal meaning and social impact.
My colleague Marc Freedman recently addressed the City Club of Cleveland, on the heels of being honored in May as a founder of Experience Corps (now, AARP Experience Corps), which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The vision that guided that effort – mobilizing adults 50+ to improve the lives of young people – is the same vision that’s powering Encore’s upcoming campaign for children and youth, launching this fall. We’ll share more details soon. And if you’d like to be among the first to know, make sure to sign up here for news on the campaign.
This post was part of our June 20, 2016 e-newsletter. Full text available here.