The Importance of Volunteering
Anyone can make a difference, no matter their age.
For seniors, remembering this fact can often be the gateway to new opportunities and a new sense of purpose after retirement. For so many years of our lives, our careers and our families play the role of defining our life purpose. As we get older, though, things change: kids grow up and become self-sufficient, or retirement age comes along. The result is that, for seniors, there can be a void where their top priorities in life used to be. Getting involved in volunteering is a way to give back, to make a difference, and to maintain that crucial sense of purpose, all at the same time.
There are so many opportunities to volunteer your time, whether helping your community or contributing to a cause you believe in. Seniors interested in getting involved can start by reflecting on where their interests, passions, or strengths lie. Perhaps you have been passionate about politics all your life but have mostly observed it from the sidelines. Retirement could be a terrific opportunity to get involved in a campaign for a candidate or a cause that resonates with you. Alternatively, maybe you love working with kids and want to use your time in that way. Many former educators volunteer in schools after they retire, maintaining the same purpose that their career always gave them but doing it with a more relaxed and flexible schedule.
The options for seniors who want to get involved are nearly endless. Even seniors who are homebound can make a difference, whether by knitting blankets or caps for newborns at the local hospital or by looking at online-based volunteer opportunities. And while some seniors worry that their offers to help may be ignored or dismissed, that simply isn’t the case: seniors make up 25 percent of the volunteer workforce and are viewed as an extremely valuable piece of the puzzle. They bring skills, knowledge, and wisdom to the table that is hard to come by and absolutely has worth.
So put yourself out there and start the New Year off by finding a new sense of purpose in your life. All it takes is a willingness to jump in and get started.