; Think boomers get a
gives them more opportunities.
; Here’s how they can
By Marsha Mercer
On Tuesdays, Bill Kalahurka of Kansas
City, Mo., delivers Meals on Wheels.
Wednesday mornings, he reads books to
nursing home residents. Thursdays, he
reads newspapers aloud for recordings
for the blind.
But if you ask Kalahurka, 60, why he
volunteers three days a week, he doesn’t
go gooey about saving the world.
“I’m selfish,” he says, “and I get something out of it.” He
enjoys socializing on his Meals on Wheels route. Reading
aloud gives him practice for his part-time, paid work as
a voice-over actor. And he just likes hearing “attaboys”
from grateful neighbors.
With only about 30 percent of boomers volunteering,
Kalahurka can hardly be considered selfish. But leave it
to boomers to redefine both volunteering and selfishness,
just as they are reinventing retirement and creating sec-
ond acts in life.
Selfish has long been the charge against what some call
the “worst generation.” Typical is this rant by Paul Begala,
political strategist and now TV commentator, who worked
for the first boomer president, Bill Clinton: “The Baby
56, Takoma Park, Md.
Librarian for children and teens.
She gave up a reporting job to spend time with her kids, then studied library science. She now orks at a city library three blocks from home.
“[On 9/11] everyone lse was going home to be with their kids. I wanted to do that, too. I feel really blessed. And I feel I’m having the second career my dad wanted.”
ELI MEIR KAPLAN/ WONDERFUL MACHINE
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