ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A nonprofit in Albemarle County needs your help to continue to provide free services to thousands of seniors and kids in the area.

The Jefferson Area Board for Aging is in need of dozens of new volunteers, starting in August.

JABA offers free services, like mentoring young children and helping seniors save money on health insurance.


But, without volunteers, JABA might not be able to continue to provide the same caliber of services.

Steve Sargeant is a volunteer at JABA, but he was on the other side of the conversation just about a year ago.

“The Medicare system, whether it's the drug plan or the original Medicare, there are so many different letters and it's so overwhelming when you first look at it and say how do I apply for this?” Sargeant said. “How do I make the choice? So I needed help with navigating the system and the volunteers here - that's what they do and they're really good at it.”

Becoming a volunteer was his way of giving back.

“It's not just about saving them money,” Sargeant said. “When I look at a person's drugs they take and I look at how I might save them some money, for some of these people, it's a choice between are they gonna take these drugs or are they gonna eat."

Without people like Sargeant, JABA would not exist.

“We run on volunteers,” Randy Rodgers, JABA’s manager of community services, said. “It is a large part of who we are."

"They are the ones sitting down with people one-on-one, helping people with their Medicare insurance options,” Carleigh Showalter, JABA’s volunteer services coordinator, said. “They're the ones out in nursing homes advocating for residents’ rights. They're the ones leading our chronic disease workshops and they're out in schools working one-on-one with students providing them extra support."

Last year, JABA helped 12,000 people. And with this amount of high demand, the nonprofit needs to bring in more volunteers.

“We are looking to identify 80 new volunteers so that we can meet the demand for these services,” Showalter said.

Volunteers can work as little or as much as they want. Regardless of the number of hours put in, volunteers say they get a lot out of it.

“Clients will thank us so much, that you do such a great job - we're the ones who win on this,” Sargeant said.

Jefferson Area Board for Aging will hold an open house on Friday, June 28, from 10 to 11 a.m. See below for more information on the open house dates.

Press Release from Jefferson Area Board for Aging:

A few of JABA's volunteer programs are booming....our Insurance Counseling program offers free health insurance counseling for both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in Charlottesville and surrounding counties. Our FISH mentors in our public schools provide much need support for teachers and valuable guidance for students. Our Ombudsman Advocates stand up for the rights of elders in long-term care facilities, and our Chronic-Disease Self-Management Workshop co-leaders help people relieve their pain and manage their health issues.

Last year, nearly 12,000 people in our area received JABA services. In addition, 900 public school students received mentoring from 69 FISH volunteers who provided 4,850 hours of volunteer time, and 300 seniors in our rural areas (double from the year before) saved $300,000 on their Medicare subscription drug cost by visiting one of our new Mobile Insurance Counseling Units.

As you can imagine, keeping these programs going strong requires dedicated volunteers!

As we gear up for these programs in the fall, we're holding Volunteer Information Session on June 28, July 12, and August 9. We would be grateful if you could draw attention to these volunteer recruitment efforts! Thanks!

For an interview contact Carleigh Showalter, JABA Volunteer Services Coordinator, at 674 Hillsdale Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901. (434) 817-5226 or

Summer New Volunteer Information Sessions

If you're considering becoming a volunteer, we'd like to invite you to attend one of our New Volunteer Information Sessions this summer. You'll learn about the many opportunities to get involved and how you can use your unique talents and skills to improve the lives of seniors or students in the community. Find out if volunteering with JABA is right for you!

The session will include:

  • An overview of JABA
  • An overview of the wide range of volunteer opportunities with seniors, students and behind-the-scenes support
  • An overview of commitment, qualifications and training requirements for each role and how to choose the role that’s best for you!
  • Benefits of volunteering
  • How to begin!

We hope you'll join us! Light refreshments will be served. Please note: this session is for informational purposes and you are not required to become a volunteer. If you feel you already have enough information and would like to begin volunteering, please complete this Volunteer Application. Otherwise, plan on joining us on one of these dates:

June 28: 10am-11am
July 12: 11-noon
August 9: 10-11am

JABA Main Office
674 Hillsdale Drive, Suite 9
Charlottesville, VA. 22911

(Second floor volunteer lounge)

Need more information? Call 434.817.5226

Know anyone who might be interested in volunteering at JABA? Want to help us spread the word about our information sessions? Go to these event listings on our Facebook page and share!

June 28

July 12

August 9