Senior Citizen Volunteers
You may be retired but that doesn’t mean you can’t have someplace to go and make a difference! One of the best ways to give to your community is by volunteering. Volunteering offers you the ability to share your skills with others without making a large commitment. Most volunteer positions allow you to volunteer as few or as many hours per week as you like, with most jobs offering between 4 and 10 hours a week. There are many ways to find local places that need your volunteer services.
Finding Places to Volunteer
You can often find volunteer opportunities posted on bulletin boards and listed in newsletters and flyers. If you know of a place that is interesting to you check the website where you will often find information about volunteering. Before choosing a volunteer option you should speak to the program manager to learn more about it. Treat a volunteer position just like a real job. People will be counting on you once you commit to a specific job. Consider the things that you enjoy doing and match an opportunity to your own interests and strengths. A volunteer opportunity is also a great time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Some of the most common places to find volunteer opportunities include:
- Park Districts
- Recreation Centers
- Food Banks
- Homeless Shelters
- Pet Shelters
Do you have a special hobby or talent? If so, you can share your knowledge with others. Meet with students at school to give them insight about your career. If you like to garden contact a local garden club to offer your expertise. Volunteering can be one-time situation or a long-term commitment depending on what you want. Many people know that older individuals have a lot to share so they are interested in what you have to say. By working with others in new and interesting settings you’ll be keeping your mind fresh and clear while finding new ways to be useful.
Tips for Senior Volunteers
When you are a volunteer help make it easier for those around you by following these easy tips:
- Let others know what you’re capable of doing. If you have some physical limitations, be sure to let them be known. Likewise, if you are able to do more, let them know.
- Don’t overdo it. Only work for periods of time as long as you are comfortable. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. If you have been standing for a long time be sure to sit down periodically.
- Be careful in new situations.
- Be honest about your abilities as well as your limitations.
- Don’t try to take charge. Keep in mind that you are helping out and that others are making the decisions.
- If you are unhappy with the volunteer situation give fair notice before leaving. This will give them time to find a suitable replacement.
- Be open to new people and new circumstances