After many years of working, the idea of volunteering is the last thing on most senior citizens minds. However, research has shown that staying engaged in retirement can result in better health and prolonged life.
So often I hear people say they cannot wait to retire. Then, about a year into their retirement they are wondering how many times they can reorganize the linen closet and just how many more reality shows they can watch. If you have reached this point or feel that you have something to offer to a group or organization in your community, volunteering could be for you.
Groups such as non-profit organizations, churches, schools, and hospitals are always on the lookout for volunteers, for either short-term projects or on-going projects they have. With the many options available the big question now is where should I volunteer? Most retirees choose to find volunteer opportunities with a place that they are able to utilize the skill they used while in the work force. Others use volunteering as an opportunity to learn a new skill that they’ve always been interested in but never had time to learn.
Whether you are a senior of modest or comfortable financial means, volunteering lends an opportunity for you to not only make a generous contribution to the community, but leaves you with a sense of fulfillment.
Here are some of the volunteer opportunities available around Columbus.
• American Red Cross of, has several volunteer opportunities available in local communities. For information on volunteer opportunities they have available in your community visit www.redcross.org/support/volunteer or call 614-253-2740.
• Columbus Metropolitan Library, has a volunteer program called Reading Buddies, this is an hour-long opportunity to help children in grades K-3rd with their reading skills. For information about this or other volunteer opportunities at library branches e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-849-1055.
• Ohio History Connection, community members can participate in their volunteer program for a special event, or one time shift, short term projects such as exhibits or educational programs. For a complete list of volunteer opportunities call 614-297-2392.
• The Wesley Communities also offers many volunteer opportunities at Wesley Glen and Wesley Ridge Retirement Communities as well as Hospice Services and Wesley At Home. To learn more, go to http://www.methodisteldercare.org/volunteer_opportunities
Volunteering should be enjoyed, if at any time it starts to feel like work, you might need to cut back a bit. Be upfront with the organization from the beginning on how many hours you want to volunteer. Remember any time you are able to offer is a help to the organization.
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