Have You Ever Volunteered?
by Christina Gregoire
If you’re older and alone…or you just want to get away from your husband for a few hours each week without going to the mall and spending money, you might be interested in volunteering within your local community.
Volunteering is Easy and it Makes You Feel Good
I have volunteered at an inner-city school and at a children’s shelter, and volunteering is a really interesting experience. So, the next time you are watching TV, maybe you should get up, go to your computer and look around for something more enjoyable than the next episode of your favorite soap.
Get Involved VolunteerMatch.org
I thought I’d look around online, and I found an interesting site called Get Involved Volunteermatch.org. Well, even though I am unable to commit to any volunteer work right now, you might have the time and the good health that's required to rise from your chair, walk out that door and do something that will give you tons of good karma points.
All you have to do is click on the link (above) and add your zip code. Here are some examples of “Volunteering Opportunities within 20 miles... (of Seattle, which are great)...for 55+.” Of course, the list will be different for your part of the country.
- Food Sorter and Distributor. This is for a church food bank.
- Knitting Group Leader. Help teach homeless women how to knit or crochet, interact with them and provide a warm, friendly environment. You can volunteer along with a few of your knitting friends.
Volunteer Opportunities That Might Require Lifting
- Deliver Groceries to Homebound Residents.
- Food Bank Volunteer at Jewish Family Services.
- “Pour Some Syrup on Me!” Help out with the annual Greenwood Senior Center Car Show Pancake Breakfast.
Simple But Fun Volunteering Activities
- Summer Movies in the Park. “Help us collect donations and hand out popcorn at the event, while enjoying a summer evening in the park!”
- Information Desk Volunteers at a Local Hospital.
- Arboretum (Park) Gift Shop Volunteers. "We are looking for volunteers to help as cashiers during the day - any day of the week." Half day or full day.
Ideas for Helping Kids
- Eastside Baby Corner. “Hi! We need help selecting age and gender appropriate books and toys for children.”
- Cooking Instructor Needed for After-School Enrichment Program.
- Volunteer Storytellers at a Library.
- There’s No Place Like Home – Adoption Assistance. Do simple paperwork and come up with creative descriptions of kids available for adoption (worldwide).
Volunteering Ideas for People Who Like Animals
- Animal Food Bank (for Humane Society at HappyPaws Farm). Staff a table outside a supermarket or pet store. There are other ways you can help. All donations go to low-income people with dogs.
- "Changing Lives…One Stride at a Time." Volunteer for Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, a place where kids and adults with disabilities get to ride gentle horses for equine-assisted therapy. Little Bit needs people who can volunteer for a few hours (a week) during the day. No horse experience required; all training is provided.
I’ve just told you about some of the volunteer activities that appealed to me as I scanned the list. But, believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With so many older women having to go back to work (or take a second job) just to make up for their losses in the stock market and the housing market, those of you who know that there is more to life than shopping (and have some spare time) should give this website a try.
VolunteerMatch.org has many ways for people over 55 to volunteer. Just think about it the next time you're watching your daily fix of Judge Judy.
More Articles for Boomer Women:
What are other good places to volunteer? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.