Volunteer: verb, freely offer to do something. The Volunteer Hub reports volunteerism has saved the United States over $184 billion dollars with one hour of volunteerism reported to be worth $28.54. Women outnumber men in volunteer work, thirty percent are baby boomers, and according to an AmeriCorps report, people who volunteer over 100 hours annually are among the healthiest people in the United States. These statistics are impactful, especially for Seniors. A Senior Lifestyle transition may have many worries, one being self-value. Volunteering offers a sense of purpose and belonging to a worthy cause. Volunteers bring skills, no matter the size or category and friends are made when joining volunteer groups. Age is nonexistent for those who educate themselves and others by sharing skills and enthusiasm. Why do people volunteer? Money? Obviously not. Individual benefits? Heavens, no. Most volunteers want to make a difference to their community and others. Connections made with other volunteers help Seniors improve their Quality of Life. Loneliness decreases with a sense of purpose and commonality grounded in volunteer work. Selfishly… volunteering is just fun. Bridge to Better Living applauds those who volunteer. The following suggestions offer Seniors varied volunteer choices:
- Soup Kitchens or Meals on Wheels: Large numbers are necessary to feed those who are unable to provide their own meals. This volunteer project may be scheduled in advance to avoid time constraints.
- Religious Organizations: Fold bulletins, greet parishioners arriving for services, or provide transportation to a fellow parishioner.
- Volunteer at the Blood Bank: Donations of blood are needed daily. A blood donation is less than an hour one to seven times a year… Plus, there are free treats when finished.
- Be a tutor or mentor: Share experiences and knowledge while supporting new immigrants or our young Americans in school.
- Donate time at a Habitat for Humanity store or bring expertise to a local housing project.
- Be a welcoming receptionist or gift shop clerk at your local hospital.
- Look in your local paper for organizations needing help, pick up the phone and volunteer.