Just because you are a retired senior citizen does not mean you have chosen to become inactive. In fact, retirement is a joyous time void of stress that can help you focus on the things you’ve always wanted to do. One great way to make an impact and to stay active as a retired senior in is to volunteer. If you are unfamiliar with volunteering opportunities, consult the below list.
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Hands On Orlando
One organization for sourcing volunteering opportunities across the state is The Retired Senior Volunteer Program. More widely known as RSVP, this organization is a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The great thing about it is that it is designed especially for seniors looking to get out into their communities and to volunteer their time and skills, meaning individual needs are really understood. Because it’s a statewide initiative, RSVP has many opportunities available in many different locations, too.
Similarly, Hands On Orlando is a great and very professional organization which makes it easy for interested parties by locating, organizing and overseeing top-quality volunteering projects in the Orlando area for people of all interests and backgrounds.
Legal Aid Society
For those who are intrigued by the legal system, this not-for-profit society offers a range of volunteer opportunities for those interested in legal services. Potential roles include conducting client interviews in-house or going out into the community. No experience is necessary, but the group does ask for an interest in legal services. Comprehensive orientation is provided for all new recruits. In terms of time commitment, this varies depending on the sort of work available at any given time. Volunteers may assist others in filling out legal applications, may operate within the legal system to offer information and directions to various departments or may also be called upon to sit with those who are waiting to go into a session.
Habitat for Humanity and Boys and Girls Club Stores
For those interested in working in a shop with a difference, the charity Habitat for Humanity has what is called ‘ReStore,’ which resells nearly-new household items and building materials as part of its mission to create better communities in areas of deprivation. This is about more than just standing behind a counter. ReStore volunteers help families realize the dream of creating homes. Plus, you can make some great friends along the way. This type of volunteering may require that the person involved is fit and is able to stand for periods of time, as well as able to lift light items.
Another great charity with thrift store volunteering opportunities is The Boys and Girls Club in Central. Duties include preparing donations, creating window displays, hanging clothing and working behind the counter bagging items.
Foster Grandparents Program
Are you great with people and do you love to support those in need? If the answer is yes, then this could be just the right volunteering opportunity for you. The charity devotes its volunteer services entirely to disadvantaged or to disabled youth. Plus, as a program of the Senior Corps, and therefore a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service, it has some good funding and support behind it. Many seniors have a lifetime of experience and advice to offer young people who are lacking good role models, or who do not believe they have anything worthy to contribute to society. Senior volunteers often become surrogate grandparents for these program participants.
Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)
There are countless ways you can volunteer to support the DOEA. With a very tight budget and a large population to service, the department is highly dependent on its volunteer programs to get a lot of important work done across the community. Here are just a few of the ways you can get involved:
This is a network of national service programs that gets volunteers involved in education, public health and the environment. It’s all about critical need and hands-on support.
Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families (RELIEF)
These volunteers provide respite to caregivers of frail seniors and particularly those with a dementia diagnoses such as Alzheimer’s.
Senior Companion Program
Through the Senior Companion Program, you can give support to elders with chronic illnesses, disabilities or those who are experiencing acute isolation. Types of support include transport to and from medical appointments, help with grocery shopping, preparing meals and basic companionship. It’s also a service which offers respite to caregivers.
Before you set off on any volunteering adventures it’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t offer an organization in terms of your physical health and time. If you have any concerns, give your local Senior Guide helpline a call and a representative can advise you on what potential issues you need to learn. After all, although on the inside, you may feel the same as you did 20 years ago, we must respect our changing bodies and look after them in later life.