We all know that volunteering is great for the mind and spirit. The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that it’s also good for your body.
People who volunteer experience decreased mortality rates, improved functional ability, and reduced rates of depression in life when compared to those who do not volunteer.
Your retirement years are a great time to volunteer! Download this Free eBook to Discover a New Way to Be Independent and make the most of your free time.
Many people, like yourself, may have the desire to volunteer, but may not know exactly how to go about it. These are just a few of the places you can look for volunteer opportunities.
Where To Look For Volunteer Opportunities
- Start Close To Home
If you live in an independent living community, there are generally opportunities for volunteering right within your own community. The list may include things like helping out with fundraisers, working on welcoming committees, organizing food drives, and even collecting toys during Christmas for needy children. Some communities even have programs working with local youth helping with homework and in other ways. See what volunteer opportunities appeal to you that are available right within your own independent living community—you might be surprised.
- Follow Your Passions
Look for volunteer opportunities that speak to your passion. Whether it’s educating others, helping others participate, or simply doing good for others, there are plenty of ways to give your time to causes and pursuits you feel passionate about. Start recycling programs in the community if you’re passionate about the environment. Educate schoolchildren about the plight of whales. Build shelters and lean-tos for the homeless. Turn your passion for quilting, sewing, crocheting, or knitting into a project making blankets to keep chemo patients warm after treatment.
- Head Toward Your Expertise
Part of living with purpose involves using your skills and knowledge to help or educate others. Once you retire, you have more time available to use the skills you’ve spent a lifetime developing to help others. If you were an accountant, attorney, or physician, there are abundant ways you can volunteer your services to help others. But there are also ways for homemakers to educate and help others by teaching a younger generation how to handle a family budget, can their own vegetables, prepare home-cooked and healthy meals, and so much more. Your county extension office can be a great place to look for these types of volunteer opportunities.
The key lies in understanding that retiring opens up opportunities for an even greater sense of purpose in life for those who wish to volunteer—the options for helping others are nearly endless.