Making the World a Better Place

Stephanie Chong

May is Older Americans Month.  Every Friday in the month of May, NNV is featuring photos and stories of members and volunteers who are living well and aging well in our community.  I hope you enjoy their experiences and are inspired by their stories.

NNV member and biologist, Jane Whitaker, is volunteering her time to bee research at the Bee Lab at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge.  Jane shares, “I am blessed to still be able to continue to contribute to the knowledge base of insects that are so necessary for our survival in spite my infirmities, which make it impossible for me to do field work anymore.” With the bee population at risk, Jane’s contributions are so important to the interconnected ecosystem we depend on.  

Jane shares her lifelong wonder and appreciation of nature with NNV as a regular contributor to NNV’s newsletter column, “Old Urban Naturalist”.  We are so fortunate to have Jane opening our eyes to the environment around us!

Sal Selvaggio is making great contributions to the quality of life of older adults in DC. In addition to being an extraordinary NNV volunteer – Sal is NNV’s 2020 Volunteer of the Year Awardee – Sal is doing incredible work through advocacy and information sharing.

Sal is a member of the Iona Citizens Advisory Group (CAG), a group of local citizens devoted to discussing critical issues affecting older adults living in Wards 2 and 3 and the impact of public policy on the quality of life of older adults.  Sal is also a member of the DC Coalition on Longterm Care, where he is working to increase the healthcare workforce by presenting testimony to DC Councilmembers and educating our community on this important issue.

Sal, a retired dentist, is a member of the District of Columbia Dental Society Foundation through which he provides lectures to homecare aides on oral care for their clients. Sal also offers presentations to older adults on smoking cessation at some of the Wellness Centers in DC.

Sal says, “Basically, I need to feel useful. I think I have a nice balance of community service and having fun with the free time being retired offers.” We are fortunate to benefit from Sal’s many contributions to our community.When Sal is not volunteering for or on behalf of older adults, he can be found at St. Ann’s Catholic Church where he is an Usher and offers tours of the church’s stained-glass windows and architecture.

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