Find Your Passion Through Volunteering in Retirement
After decades of finding your purpose in life, what if you could find you your most meaningful passions in retirement? Older adults across America are discovering the many benefits of staying active, mentally and physically, while giving back. In fact, research shows that almost two thirds of Senior Corps volunteers felt volunteering helped improve social connections and reduce feelings of isolation.1
To get started, you won’t have to go far. There are many rewarding volunteer opportunities right in your own community. Here are some ideas to help you find your passionate cause!
How to Find Volunteer Opportunities in Retirement
Start by answering that question: what are you passionate about? When you identify what you love, you can search for opportunities to use that passion in your community. Do you enjoy working with children? Consider reading to kids in after-school programs. Are you a great cook? See if you can help prepare meals at the local soup kitchen. Do you enjoy landscaping or gardening? Check with your church – they made need help mowing the grounds.
Websites like Volunteer Match help match people to volunteer opportunities. Simply enter your city and start browsing your options. You could also search online for “volunteer opportunities in Omaha,” or whichever city you live in.
To make planning a little easier, we’ve found some organizations that might be a good fit for you:
Volunteer Opportunities for Retirees
Big Brothers Big Sisters
If you only get to see your grandchildren sparingly (or you’re waiting for them to arrive in your life), Big Brothers Big Sisters provides an opportunity for you to be a positive influence in a child’s life. And hey, they might even help you feel a little bit younger, too!
Volunteering with the SPCA is perfect for those who have a passion for all things four-legged, cute, and furry. You’ll get the chance to improve the lives of animals in need, and help fill the void of a pet if you can’t have one of your own.
Habitat for Humanity
While building houses certainly fits the criteria for a retiree with a handyman background, you don’t have to be especially crafty to help rebuild someone’s life. Habitat for Humanity features volunteer opportunities for people of all skill levels. All it takes is a willingness to learn and help.
What better way to show pride in your community than helping your neighbors stay nourished? Food banks in the Feeding America network present a wide variety of opportunities for retirees to volunteer — all of which create a huge difference for the families they serve.
National Park Service
If you love being in the great outdoors, it’s only “natural” to gravitate toward a chance to give back to Mother Nature. The U.S. National Park Service features volunteer programs that range from one-time events to long-term programs. Some programs even include a possibility to stay rent-free in scenic locations.
Your time spent volunteering should fulfill your internal passion to give back to the people and places that mean the most to you. Whatever opportunity you choose, using your time in retirement to give back can bring you just as many benefits as you bring to others.
Looking for more ways to plan a fulfilling retirement? These retirement resources can help!
1 AARP (July, 27,2017) Web page: Senior Volunteers Reap Health Benefits. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/health-benefits-volunteering-seniors-fd.html
https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/volunteer https://www.nps.gov/getinvolved/volunteer.htm https://www.mutualofomaha.com/advice/be-ready-for-retirement