For many people, retirement doesn’t mean that one has to stop contributing and being a useful member of society. In some cases, retirement is the perfect time to help out in your community in ways that you are truly interested in. Having freedom from a traditional work schedule gives you complete control over how you choose to spend your time, and allows you to help various organizations by volunteering your time. In some cases you may even be able to make some extra money helping out, but for most people the reward comes with knowing you helped someone in your community.
There are many volunteering opportunities out there that are perfect for people aged 55 and older. Plenty of these volunteer positions simply require one to show up and talk or help with a simple, non-strenuous task. If you prefer slightly more vigorous volunteer work, there are many active volunteer positions out there too.
If you are a senior or retiree looking to lend a helping hand in your neighborhood, take a look at this list of opportunities for older adults:
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary – For a minimal lodging fee, you can visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. This sanctuary is a home to many different animals, and functions as a no-kill animal shelter. It is primarily run by volunteers who come for varying lengths of time to spend time with the animals. This is a great active volunteering opportunity for seniors. Some activities include: walking dogs, playing with cats, brushing horses and other larger animals, and of course feeding and bathing animals. If you’re an animal lover, this is the perfect volunteering opportunity/vacation for you.
- Seniors Helping Seniors – Seniors Helping Seniors is a unique in-home senior care program that hires seniors as caregivers. They use a matching process to pair you with a senior in your area that needs non-medical help with everyday tasks. These tasks can include light housework, meal preparation, running errands, and even just simple companionship. While this is not a volunteer opportunity, it is a great way to make a difference in your local community and earn some extra spending money while you’re at it!
- IRS Tax Volunteers – The IRS has a program that trains individuals to help seniors and older adults with their taxes, to make sure they are getting the returns and credits that they deserve. The TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) program will teach you to help senior citizens in your area with their state and federal taxes. If you’re a fan of numbers, or a retired accountant, this is a great way to help other seniors in your community.
- Online Mentoring – If you enjoy working with kids and passing your knowledge on to the next generation, you can sign up to be an online tutor or mentor for school-age children. Studies show that this method of tutoring is just as effective as face to face tutoring, and it is a great way to volunteer from the comfort of your own home.
- Local Botanical Gardens – If you have a green thumb, and enjoy working with more exotic plants, chances are you can get a position volunteering at your local botanical garden for several hours a week. Many of these centers are constantly looking for volunteers to help maintain their extensive gardens.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make a noticeable difference in your community after retirement. The best part about retirement is that you have the freedom to choose what you do with your time. Spend that time contributing to projects and organizations that you believe in, and you will reap the benefits that come with helping others.