senior woman volunteering with young girl

Seniors make excellent volunteers. Not only do they have time to spare, but they also have a wealth of knowledge and experience that organizations need. If you’re not sure what to do with your time after retirement, you may want to consider volunteer opportunities in one of these areas.

Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Seniors who are interested in art and history can expand on their interest by volunteering as tour guides or preservationists at their local university, museum, or garden. Seniors can also be trained as guides or instructors at historical sites or art galleries, lending their time and expertise while learning more about their favorite subjects.

Mentoring Children

If your own children are out of the house, you may enjoy a new opportunity to teach children through a mentoring program. Programs like Senior Corps Foster Grandparent or Big Brothers Big Sisters allow seniors to work one on one with underprivileged local kids who need reliable mentors to support them. Though your own children and grandchildren may live far away, these programs offer a simple way to build relationships and provide love and attention to local kids who need it.

Humane Society

Animal shelters and human societies are always in need of volunteers to care for the animals and help organize and advocate for them. If you’re a pet lover you may enjoy playing with and grooming the animals. If you have skills in marketing or fundraising, you may also be able to help plan events to help promote adoptions.

Disaster Relief

During times of crisis, retired seniors have a unique ability to help. Since they are not tied down by work obligations, seniors are able to fly without notice to the sites of natural disaster. Retired physicians and nurses are particularly helpful during these times, and programs through the Red Cross help serve and comfort survivors as they cope with the aftermath.

Helping Troops and Veterans

Since many seniors either served in the armed forces or had friends and family who did, they are often well-acquainted with the difficulties that face troops and veterans. Many veterans struggle to receive the healthcare and benefits they need, and others are homeless and in need of aid. Seniors who are interested in supporting and advocating for troops can join with local organizations or join up with national organizations like USO (United Service Organizations) or the VAVS (Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service) to offer support.

Political Campaigns

Though you may not have actively participated in politics during your working years, post-retirement life gives you the freedom to be actively involved in a campaign. Whether it’s calling voters, knocking on doors, or organizing events, local and national campaigns will put your skills and political interest to use. Campaigns are always eager for new volunteers, and seniors are particularly valuable in reaching out to their fellow seniors and encouraging them to vote.

No matter your time constraints or interests, there are volunteer opportunities for you. Contact local organizations to find out how you can help or search online using Senior Corps or other sites to find a program that best matches you.