If you’re retired, and have some energy and extra time, have you ever thought about volunteer service? Businesses, schools, and other organizations prefer to work with seniors because of their dependability, and their deep desire to become a vital part of their community. If you’re interested in such a worthwhile endeavor, contact one or more of the places listed for more information.
Hospitals And Nursing Homes
There is always a need for extra hands here. Deliver the mail and flowers, work a few hours in the hospital gift shop, spend some time chatting with a lonely person, take the library cart to patients, read books and newspapers to them, and direct visitors to rooms. Like puzzles? This is a great way to pass the time with a bored patient or resident.
Adult Day Care
Those that spend their days here aren’t sick, but do require some looking after. Since I accepted a request to teach some craft projects at our local center, I know how much they looked forward to my weekly visits, and creating something uniquely theirs. This is also excellent for someone with basic woodworking skills; teach how to make a simple birdhouse or letter box. Paint and decorate squares of balsa wood, and attach a magnet to the back for a refrigerator decoration.
Pre-Schools And Elementary Schools
In many states, schools can ask for help within their community, without the volunteer being licensed, certified, or required to pass a competency test. (Years ago , they were called “room-mothers”.) A background check might be required, however. The “aides” help with bulletin boards, craft projects, reading, puppet shows, playground duty, lunch, and snack times. I did this when my children were in elementary school, and found it enjoyable and rewarding. I also volunteered for playground safety inspections, and secretarial work.
It’s sad but true that too many of our shelters are over-crowded with abandoned, unwanted, and lost pets. If you’re an animal lover, this would be a perfect opportunity for you. Shelters need assistance with cleaning cages and kennels, feeding, tending puppies and kittens, even just giving a cuddle and reassurance to a scared little one. I know one lady who uses her leftover yarn from other projects, and crochets pretty multi-colored blankets for our furry friends.
If you’re a history buff, and lucky enough to live in a historical area, this would be perfect for you to share your knowledge and educate visitors. There are usually gift and souvenir shops; volunteer to help with stock, and wrapping/bagging merchandise. Like to dress in costume, and be part of re-enactments of by-gone eras? This would be a fun past-time, and very educational. Skills like whittling, carving, candle-making, weaving, and other such talents are always sought after. If you’d rather stay in the background, you could offer to sew costumes, and assist with props.
If you sing or play a musical instrument, senior centers and nursing homes will gladly accept your kind offer to share your love and enjoyment of music. It’s a welcome and entertaining break from the regular routine, and everyone has fun, singing along. It’s a sure-fire way to raise spirits and bring smiles.
Choose your favorite charity or non-profit, and start a fund raiser. Hold a raffle, bake sale, or tag sale. Combine all three! Most businesses are happy to donate an item for a good cause, plus it’s good publicity for them. Imagine the pride and accomplishment you’ll feel when you hand over that check.
Visit, call, or write your local AARP office, telling them you want to volunteer. They’ll be happy to hear it, and can offer many suggestions. Some offices offer free help, via volunteers, with Medicare concerns, health insurance, and financial needs. Get Involved – Helping Seniors
The Red Cross and Habitat For Humanity
These caring and dedicated organizations can always use volunteers. Their primary goal is to aid and assist those in emergencies, and any help you can give them is deeply appreciated. The Red Cross needs people with good organizational skills, and a deep desire to help others. If carpentry, plumbing, and electricity is where you shine, Habitat is the place for you.
Helping others is a great way to spend a few hours of your week. You’ll be performing a valuable and needed service and making new friends. You’ll also be keeping yourself mentally alert and physically active. It’s a win-win situation! By being involved, you become more vibrant and energetic. You might be retired from your job, but you’re not retired from life!