Moab Happenings Archive
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Dion and Gobi

Grand County Public Library is delighted to present an evening with author and distance runner Dion and his courageous dog, Gobi.

Come and be taken on a journey, a true and inspiring story with New York Times bestselling author, Dion Leonard and his incredible dog, Gobi. Dion was competing in a 155 mile running race across the Gobi desert in China and a stray dog joined him for 77 miles and it changed both their lives forever. Hear about the drama, the heartache and the near loss as Gobi goes missing in the huge city of Urumqi. Dion’s quest to find Gobi would change both of their lives forever.

It’s an event not to be missed. You will get the chance to meet the duo, listen to their heartwarming story and have the opportunity to pick up your very own pawtographed and autographed copy of the book. This is one for all the family!

If you would like to read about the pair’s adventures, the library has copies of their books for both adults and kiddos: Finding Gobi: The Little Dog with a Very Big Heart, and Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart by Dion Leonard.

Thursday, October 28, 6 pm @ Star Hall 159 E. Center St. Free!

For more info, please call the library @ 435-259-1111, or go to

Safe Ways for Seniors to Volunteer

Charitable organizations rely on the efforts of volunteers to meet their missions every day. People of all ages can volunteer, and a great number of volunteers are seniors.

A 2016 survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that nearly one-quarter of American volunteers are age 65 and over. That was never more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many nonprofit organizations were suddenly forced to confront a volunteer shortage due to the adoption of social distancing guidelines that were designed to keep vulnerable populations, such as seniors, as safe as possible. One study from Fidelity Charitable found that two out of three volunteers decreased or stopped contributing time during the pandemic.

The rollout of various COVID-19 vaccines has allowed vaccinated individuals to return to a certain degree of pre-pandemic normalcy. However, the threat posed by strains of the virus like the Delta variant has made some seniors apprehensive about returning to volunteering. Though each individual should consider various factors before returning to volunteering during the pandemic, the following are some options seniors can consider as they aim to safely pitch in once again.

• Look for contactless opportunities. Interactions with the people they help and work alongside is what drives many volunteers to lend a helping hand. ThatÕs especially so for seniors whose children have grown up and moved out. In person interactions may be too risky during the pandemic, but seniors can still volunteer via contactless opportunities. For example, in lieu of delivering meals by hand, seniors who work with organizations such as Meals on Wheels can deliver prepackaged meals outside recipients residences.

• Pitch in with fundraising. A report from Giving USA released in 2021 revealed that Americans gave more to charity in 2020 than in 2019. That increase came in spite of an economic downturn that saw millions of people lose their jobs or take pay cuts as companies scrambled to deal with lost revenue related to the pandemic. Though giving might have increased in 2020, many nonprofit organizations, including local community theaters, likely suffered due to cancellations and audience restrictions. As a result, many local nonprofit organizations are in need of financial support. Seniors who want to pitch in but stay safe can volunteer to help local organizations raise funds. Seniors can participate in fundraising efforts from the comforts of their own homes.

• Offer professional expertise. Many seniors retired after spending decades mastering their crafts, and that experience can be an invaluable resource to local nonprofit organizations. Seniors can offer professional advice and mentor youths remotely via apps like Zoom without putting their physical health at risk.

Seniors concerned for their safety can still lend a hand by volunteering with their favorite nonprofit organizations.

The Effects of Volunteering on Volunteers' Well-Being

A recent analysis examining the potential correlation between volunteering and well-being found that volunteering is associated with a higher well-being as well as a positive change in well-being. Authors of the study, which was published in the Journal of Happiness Studies in March of 2020, acknowledged that evidence pertaining to the correlation between volunteering and well-being has accumulated gradually in recent years, though they feel their study offers the most realistic assessment to date in regard to that link. That's good news for volunteers, many of whom may be quick to point out that they get as much as they give when volunteering. Recent analyses support that notion and may compel millions more to make time to give back through volunteering. Though more studies are needed, the Cleveland Clinic notes that some of the health benefits often associated with volunteering include lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, lower levels of depression and stress, and greater satisfaction with life.

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