Retirement is a glorious time in life. Suddenly the commitments of your 9-5 job flutter away, and every day has the potential to feel like the weekend. That said, it is perfectly normal to feel a little unsatisfied with your accomplishments at the end of the day when you’re no longer working. You might find that adding a few volunteer hours to your week is a great way to stay connected to your community and improve your overall quality of life. In fact, research by the Harvard School of Public Health found that “people who volunteered spent 38 percent fewer nights in the hospital” than non-volunteers. Start by researching volunteering ideas and try out a variety of organizations until you find the right fit.
Assist the Hungry
Did you know that 40 million people struggle with hunger in America, yet we throw away 72 billion pounds of food each year? Luckily, Feeding America is doing something to solve the problem. This organization has a network of over 200 food banks all across America that work to collect food donations from grocery stores and distribute them to those in need. Often, this food is perfectly fine, it just may be nearing expiration or have a cosmetic issue. Feeding America relies on volunteers to sort through donated food to make sure it is safe for consumption. If you have a passion for helping children, adults, and seniors in need, check to see if there is a Feeding America food bank near you.
Look After Animals
Pets are certainly special, and if you’ve been positively impacted by an animal in your life, consider donating time to your local animal shelter. Many organizations that work with animals need volunteers to help provide social time and exercise for these pets awaiting a permanent home. So if you like playing with cats or walking dogs, this might be a great fit for you. Just keep in mind that some of these animals have undergone neglect or abuse, so they might be more hostile than other pets. Check with your doctor to make sure you are up-to-date on any shots you might need to work around animals.
Families who have fallen on hard times sometimes need a helping hand to rise back up. If you want to help organizations that invest in families, check to see if your local domestic violence shelter needs any volunteers. Whether it is serving a warm meal or reading a book to a child, you can show these families they are loved and cared about. Another type of organization that empowers families is Habitat for Humanity. If you enjoy getting your hands dirty and being active, contact your local chapter to see if you can help participate in building a home for a family in need.
Serve on a Board or Committee
Do you miss working on a team? Contact your favorite nonprofit organization and ask if they have any openings on their board or a committee. Serving in this capacity allows you to use your talents to help meet a noble goal. For example, if you are passionate about event planning, ask if you can help plan a gala. If you love marketing, see if you can help the organization refine their strategy. Are you a retired lawyer? Offer your advice and legal counsel pro bono. No matter what types of talents or passions you have, there is a way to put them to use for the greater good with these volunteering ideas.
If you’re looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee, check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. We encourage are residents to participate in meaningful activities like volunteering, and our Community Director can likely help you come up with volunteering ideas and connect you to an organization based on your personal hobbies, interests, and talents. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle. We offer home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. To learn more about our amenities and services, please give us a call at 901-854-6590 or contact us online.