Discover the Benefits of Volunteering

While retiring gives one more freedom to explore new activities, travel and spend time with family; you may find yourself with a little more free time that you can fill up with fun and relaxation.  For some, you may miss your job and the role you played in contributing to the success of the place where you worked or you may just want to do something more meaningful with your days now that you can.  If you find yourself pondering the question of what to do with your free time, you are in good company.  For many retirees and seniors, finding volunteer work in your community, region or even around the world can enrich your life in unexpected ways.  Some studies even indicate that volunteering can improve your health or add years to your life.  As a volunteer you not only help others with your gift of time and talents, you will experience the reward of how good it feels to be part of your community in a whole new way.  Smiles and words of appreciation from those you help are priceless, and working with a group for a cause you believe in is a great way to make a difference in the world.

When considering a volunteer opportunity, think about what you enjoy doing, what unique skills you can offer to an organization and whether you want to focus your time on one type of work or if you want to spread your efforts to a variety of services.  There are several national resources to help you find volunteer positions near you or you can start with an internet or telephone directory search.  Here are just a few of the volunteer resources available online.

Senior Corps
http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps
Envisioned during John F. Kennedy’s administration, Senior Corp matches volunteers who are 55 and older with the groups and individuals that will benefit the most from their skills.  Some Senior Corp programs include Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions.

Administration on Aging (AoA)
http://www.aging.com

The Administration on Aging uses the contributions of volunteers nationwide to help older people in need.  Many of their volunteers are senior citizens as some studies have shown that seniors can sometimes be the best at aiding the elderly. Volunteers deliver meals, assist in transportation to appointments, help with home repairs or provide information about health, diet or finances.

Volunteer Match
http://www.volunteermatch.org
Since 1998, Volunteer Match has been working to make it easy for anyone, who wants to make a difference in the lives of others through volunteerism, to connect with causes near and far.  You can browse open volunteer positions by category, upcoming events and by local organizations.  Volunteer Match also offers resources for those seeking volunteers, businesses looking to volunteer as a group, and for volunteers who want to learn more about how they can increase the impact of their efforts.

We hope you will consider finding a cause you care about and donating some of your time, energy and talents to helping those in need.  Volunteering is a great way to connect with people, to redirect your focus to the positive aspects of life and to be thankful for what you have.  Let us know about your volunteer story and inspire others to reach out and do the same.