10 volunteer activities for retirement
The feeling of helping others cannot be beat. Volunteering is an excellent use of time for new retirees and for those seeking enriching, rewarding activities.
Volunteering doesn’t just benefit others. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, those who volunteer experience greater life satisfaction, a sense of purpose and accomplishment, less stress and lower rates of depression. It also promotes physical activity and creativity, giving you an opportunity to meet people and make new friends.
Volunteer programs are designed to take as much or as little time as you like. Many activities listed below can be done from the comfort of your own home.
- Help other seniors. You do not have to go far to find people who will benefit from your warmth and wisdom. This can include writing a letter or email with a senior living resident, or simply providing companionship. Call your local community center or Holiday Retirement community for volunteer opportunities.
- Mentor students online. Use your experience and knowledge to make a positive difference in a young person’s life. Online mentoring helps students stay in school and increases their chances of attending college and starting long, successful careers.
- Knit caps for babies. The CLICK for Babies campaign asks participants to donate knitted purple caps to new parents. They also send a video and reading materials to educate these parents about shaken baby syndrome.
- Join a pen pal program. You can improve reading and writing skills among children with disabilities by becoming their pen pal. Reachout America connects participants with young people, and Holiday communities offer senior companion pen pal programs.
- Support a church. Contact a local church in your area. Many churches offer a variety of community outreach programs and activities to choose from.
- Help with errands. Be the driver to a doctor’s appointment or help with groceries or drop off packages at the post office. Simple errands for us might not be as easy for seniors.
- Help someone with their taxes. If you are a whiz at tax preparation, lend a hand to someone in your community in need of tax help. The IRS offers two training programs for tax volunteers: the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE).
- Work with a local hospital. Many hospitals offer volunteer opportunities, from hospitality to holding newborns. This kind of work can have a profound effect on the lives of many people. You could make someone’s day!
- Find new volunteer opportunities. Check out local VolunteerMatch opportunities in your area. They send emails to subscribers when the sort of volunteering work you are interested in becomes available.
- Start your own group. Find a cause you care about by searching the newspaper and online for opportunities to help in that area, then recruit some friends to help out.
Simply giving the gift of an hour or so a week can make a profound difference in another person’s life and yours! At Holiday Retirement, we encourage our residents to share their time in meaningful ways whenever possible.
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