One of the few studies of how the elderly help others through formal and informal volunteerism. While a large number of studies focus on the help older people receive from relatives and friends, this work examines the many ways in which older people are involved in giving care to others. Written by a sociologist and based on a stratified sample of hundreds of individuals, this study assesses a number of dimensions of care giving. While much of this labor goes unnoticed, it is central to the building and maintenance of family and community ties, and reveals ways in which social life is organized around aging, gender, and marriage. Patterns of formal volunteerism and informal care are studied in relation to age, sex, marital status, and other important variables that affect this essential but underplayed aspect of American community life.