One of the joys of retirement is that you are into a time of life when making a buck and worrying about using your time “profitably” is less of an issue. But it’s not entirely accurate that all senior citizens want to retire to spend the day rocking on the back porch and taking long naps. Human beings are by nature workers and doers and that need to be productive and be a part of something bigger than yourself doesn’t go away the day you stop working for a living.
This is why volunteering is such a great way for senior citizens to use the time and talents they have to benefit others. And more and more, nonprofit and community service organizations are finding a rich resource of free and enthusiastic talent in the ranks of senior citizens. For the senior citizen, the chance to volunteer for a cause gives them a chance to feel important and useful. It provides human contact outside of their age group which is often a frustration for seniors. While seniors love being with those of their own generation, it’s just as important for them to be with people the age of their kids, young people, teenagers and children regularly. In addition volunteering gives seniors a chance to invest themselves in something they believe strongly in and do so with a greater depth of commitment than they ever could before they were retired.
The opportunities for volunteering in the community are so diverse that you can literally find a volunteering opportunity to fit any retirement situation and any temperament type or area of interest. Here are a few great volunteering ideas just to start the list.
- If you have had a life of commitment to your church, there is always a need for volunteers to work with ongoing projects there. Many churches operate libraries, youth and family centers and schools who thrive on volunteers to keep reaching out to the community with these services.
- If you love the outdoors, the parks service may be able to use you to help with upkeep projects on city lands. You can also help coordinate charity events such as fun runs and marathons which will get you plenty of fresh air and do good for others along the way.
- The arts often use volunteers and you get to participate in great artistic programs. Opportunities like ushering at plays or music events at the local theater, serving at the admittance desk or conducting tours at the museum or helping to build sets for the local theater group can be great fun for an outgoing senior citizen.
- For a senior citizen who is home bound or introverted, work can be found stuffing envelopes, doing internet research or making phone calls for charitable causes that can be done right from the comfort and safety of their living room.
- For the retired senior who is good with tools and loaded with knowledge and talent about construction, habitat for humanity is an outstanding and ongoing program that will use those skills to the fullest. Missions programs from local churches also find great work for talented seniors who want to help the less fortunate.
These are just the tip of the ice burg of the great ways senior citizens can volunteer. Seniors are great volunteers because they are full of life and energy but at the same time patient and skilled at managing projects because of a lifetime of achievement. This is why volunteering is a perfect match for the needs for seniors to get out and engage life. And they make a real difference in important causes along the way.