Isolation and a lack of meaningful social interaction often create a feeling of being lonely. Loneliness is not just a feeling that easily passes with no risk to...
Many retired seniors often find themselves stir-crazy with the amount of free time on their hands after working forty hours per week for most of their lives. For those seeking meaningful experiences in their communities, there are numerous volunteer opportunities available that appeal to a wide variety of interests.
10 Volunteer Opportunities You'll Love
1. Public Library
Most public libraries have volunteer opportunities available to bookworms looking to keep libraries up and running in today’s digital age. Frequently, libraries are understaffed and need volunteers to help shelve and repair books, create bulletin board displays, read books for children’s story hours, and more.
To check for library volunteer opportunities, visit the local library website or chat with a librarian.
2. Senior Companion
AmeriCorps offers a volunteer opportunity called Senior Companion. In this program, volunteers can assist seniors with daily activities, such as grocery shopping, gardening, cooking, and more. The goal of this program is to help seniors maintain independence and engage in healthy social interactions. Senior Companions volunteers receive training, insurance, and an allowance to cover volunteer costs.
To volunteer as a Senior Companion, visit the Senior Companion page of the AmeriCorps website and search for local volunteer opportunities.
3. Political Campaign
Retirees interested in politics and activism may find pleasure volunteering for a local political campaign for a candidate they believe in to create change. Most campaigns are eager to have volunteers available to call voters, gain petition signatures, register voters, and go door-to-door in the community.
To become a volunteer on a local campaign team, visit the candidate’s campaign website to register as a volunteer.
4. Musicians on Call
Musicians on Call sends volunteer musicians to hospitals to perform for patients. This program supports the healing process for patients by providing access to music that can improve patients’ moods and mindsets. Research shows that live music can help improve blood pressure, manage stress, and alleviate pain. Non-musicians can also volunteer as guides that escort musicians to patients’ rooms or common areas of the hospital.
To sign-up as a volunteer, visit the volunteer page on the Musicians on Call website.
5. Meals on Wheels
Today, Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals to more than 2.4 million seniors throughout the United States. Even with two million current volunteers, Meals on Wheels is looking to increase volunteers to keep up with the rapid growth of seniors over the age of 85. Volunteers typically pick up meals at a central location and deliver them to several local seniors.
To register as a volunteer, visit the Meals on Wheels website homepage and click “sign up to volunteer.”
6. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America volunteers mentor children ranging from ages five to eighteen that need a role model. The volunteers help children develop positive relationships, understand their full potential, and build their futures. Volunteers choose to work with community-based programs, school-based programs, children of military families, or children with incarcerated parents.
To volunteer to be a “Big” (brother or sister), visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America website and fill out the online inquiry form.
7. Feed My Starving Children
Research shows that more than 6,200 children die each day from malnutrition, making hunger the leading cause of death for children under five years old. Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian nonprofit that works with nutrition professionals to ensure the prepared meals meet basic nutritional needs to reduce worldwide malnutrition. FMSC volunteers hand-pack meals made of rice, dried vegetables, soy, and a blend of vitamins and minerals. The prepared meal bags are shipped to various locations worldwide to help children in need. FMSC has volunteer locations in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas.
Volunteers outside of these states can volunteer through MobilePack events, listed on the volunteer page of the FMSC website.
8. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
AmeriCorps offers another volunteer opportunity called the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). This program is for volunteers over the age of 55 interested in various projects such as tutoring children, renovating homes, organizing neighborhood watch programs, and assisting natural disaster victims. Volunteers choose where, when, and how often they want to volunteer to accommodate individual schedules.
To register as an RSVP volunteer, visit the RSVP page of the AmeriCorps website and find local volunteer opportunities.
9. Humane Society
Volunteering at local animal shelters is an excellent opportunity for animal lovers seeking to care for animals, perform administrative tasks, organize fundraisers, or rescue pets. Another unique volunteer option through local humane societies is to foster animals until placed in a permanent home. Humane societies also have resources for retirees to have their pets certified through a pet therapy program, allowing them to visit nursing homes and long-term hospital patients.
To find out more about these volunteer opportunities, visit local humane society websites or talk to a staff member.
10. National Park Service
The United States National Park Service offers various individual and group volunteer opportunities that range from a one-time service to a long-term position. Volunteers will work alongside park employees for events such as beach clean-ups, trail maintenance, gardening, and more. Long-term positions may include being a gate attendant, campground host, experienced bird guide, and more.
For retired seniors looking to travel, explore nature, or help preserve wildlife, visit the Volunteer Events page on the National Park Service website.
Let us know in the comments below - Where do you like to volunteer?