The post-retirement years are an excellent time to volunteer, says Kelley D. Hamilton.
Many people mistakenly believe that volunteer opportunities are only open to those belonging to a club or organization, says Kelley D. Hamilton. However, anyone can find a volunteer opportunity to get involved with their community. Seniors, Kelley D. Hamilton emphasizes, are especially prized volunteers for their wisdom and experience. Older adults looking for volunteer opportunities won’t be disappointed. Kelley D. Hamilton explains that most nonprofit organizations accept new volunteers with open arms.
Churches – Local religious organizations are an excellent resource for finding local volunteer opportunities, says Kelley D. Hamilton. Many of these establishments have existing outreach programs that work with underprivileged children, mentally challenged citizens, and the homeless population, explains Kelley D. Hamilton. As well, since churches and synagogues have extensive social networks, Kelley D. Hamilton points out that many seniors can find volunteer opportunities from a chance conversation. Church membership is typically not required to participate.
Homeless shelters – Many homeless shelters, also called soup kitchens in some parts of the country, are nearly always seeking experienced cooks and caretakers, says Kelley D. Hamilton. Retired persons often find this experience rewarding as they get to care for a diverse population of community members.
Animal rescue organizations – Most animal shelters are nonprofit organizations that rely on the generous offerings of community members. Kelley D. Hamilton explains these resources may either be financial or by the gift of time. Adults with many years of experience working with animals are always in need at these facilities, says Kelley D. Hamilton. Volunteer opportunities at animal shelters may include feeding or bathing dogs and cats or just spending time one-on-one with an animal to help with its socialization skills, says Kelley D. Hamilton.
Hospitals – Despite their massive size, hospitals are not always multibillion-dollar operations, explains Kelley D. Hamilton. Many hospitals actively recruit community members to help with certain day-to-day functions that have been excluded from their budget, explains Kelley D. Hamilton. Volunteer opportunities at local hospitals may include delivering gifts, spending time with sick patients, and reading to children who’ve been hospitalized. Kelley D. Hamilton notes that hospital volunteer opportunities are among some of the most rewarding available.
Mentoring – There are thousands of young and inexperienced business owners nationwide that could benefit from the years of experience a retiree will have. Kelley D. Hamilton notes that a local Chamber of Commerce can help match a volunteer mentor with a startup company in need of guidance.
Call centers – Counseling call centers may also offer volunteer opportunities for seniors who have experience in certain fields, says Kelley D. Hamilton, including suicide prevention hotlines and rape and sexual abuse centers. Kelley D. Hamilton goes on to say that many other nonprofit agencies recruit volunteer talent for marketing purposes. This may include agencies like ARC that call certain neighborhoods to solicit donations for their charitable organization, says Kelley D. Hamilton.
Museums and historical societies – Small museums may recruit volunteers to guide visitors throughout the exhibits, says Kelley D. Hamilton. As well, almost all cities have a historical society and/or a vintage property association that may accept volunteers to perform research on land and structures, concludes Kelley D. Hamilton.