National Volunteer Month!
Whether you are able to attend volunteering events in person or participate virtually, there are many options to getting involved.
If you haven’t volunteered before, now is a great time to start. Studies show that volunteering can help us age better through dedicated socialization and fulfillment, increasing both happiness and self-esteem. Seniors who volunteer also experience other benefits such as better health, making friends, learning new skills, and keeping their minds sharp with new experiences. Volunteering is also convenient as it offers the flexibility to fit into your schedule and the freedom to explore different opportunities where your unique contribution can really shine.
Become a mentor: Seniors have a wealth of experience that youth groups can benefit! Many organizations have a youth outreach program that connects mentors with young people in need of guidance. Volunteers can build relationships, help with homework, and make a big difference in students’ lives. Here are a couple of volunteer groups that can help you decide on what volunteering path is right for you:
AmeriCorps Seniors: Adults who are 55+ can sign up to serve in AmeriCorps Seniors. Tasks may include helping a struggling child to learn to read, delivering groceries to a local elderly neighbor, and supporting a family impacted by natural disaster. https://americorps.gov/serve/americorps-seniors
AARP Experience Corps: Part of the AARP Foundation, Experience Corps provides educational tools and matches people 50 years and older with children in their city who are not yet reading at their grade level. https://www.aarp.org/experience-corps/
Fundraising and Special Skills: Various charitable organizations need volunteers with particular skill sets. Many of these opportunities come with training, so you can also learn something new that puts you in a better position to help others! A few examples include:
The IRS trains volunteers to prepare taxes for free for low-income families.
The Red Cross will train volunteers to virtually help families affected by natural disasters.
Meals on Wheels needs people to call participants for their meal orders.
Charities always need help raising money and spreading their message so they can make a bigger impact. If there is an organization or cause important to you, reach out to them this month and see how you can help!