Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gyant, LaVerne

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


African Americans found ways to respond to the needs of their communities as volunteers when they were denied many services available to Whites citizens. Opportunities to volunteer were provided both formally and informally through churches, sororities, fraternities and other organizations. Many families would not have been able to afford care for their children and/or elderly family members had it not been for other members of their family and friends volunteering to provide the needed services. Growing up in the early fifties, before starting to school, my first caregiver was Mr. Allen, an elderly man. His wife, who worked from home as a seamstress, was available to assist him when needed. Another neighbor and stay-at-home mother cared for both my brother and me because my family members all had jobs and were not available to help my mother with the younger children who were not yet school age. Ten retired African Americans – five women and five men – were asked to share their experiences as volunteers in the Augusta, Georgia, community. They discussed what motivated or inspired them to choose to engage in volunteer service as retirees. They shared experiences regarding the challenges they faced in their service and offered words of encouragement to future volunteers. Implications for future research are explored because of the lack of recognition of African American volunteers who have served in the Augusta community for many decades.


76 pages




Northern Illinois University

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