May 20, 2012

Retirement Volunteering: Your Ideas

About a week ago the Satisfying Retirement post about Retirement Volunteerism produced a tremendous response, as well as an excellent primer on volunteer opportunities for us all, retired or not. The range of ideas and suggestions was so good that it prompted this follow up post. I have taken the ways you have found to serve others and listed them below. Where appropriate I have added a link if you'd like more information.

*Volunteer Match: Find opportunities in your area

*Reading services for the visually impaired:  Master List for every state

*Master Gardener:  Information and state programs

*Friends of the library:  National organization

*Church volunteering: teacher, prepare meals, crafts for others

*Tutor/Mentor young people  (search: tutor mentor youngsters [your state])

*Volunteer at local art center - theaters - Botanical gardens - zoos

*Be a Camp Host/Volunteer:  National organization

*Gather medical surplus for less fortunate: Medical Bridges organization

*Meals on Wheels:  National organization

*Pilot Clubs:  National Web site

*Scout Leader:   Boy Scouts   Girl Scouts

*No-kill animal shelters:  National organization

*Making quilts and blankets for others

*Edwards Center:

*After school & summer school programs

*Vacation Bible school programs

*Volunteer Tax Aide:  AARP Program

*Teaching English as second language:  list of resources and links

*Imprinting Braille Bibles:  Story of church workers imprinting Braille Bibles

*Habitat for Humanity:  National Web Site

*Serving Communion to shut-ins

*Prison Ministry: Along Side Ministries of AZ    Prison Fellowship

*National Audubon Society:   National web site

* Volunteering to help veterans: Dept. Veterans Affairs volunteer page

* Softcare for Foster and Kinship Care (Australia- based)

Please feel free to add any additional ideas or ways you have found to serve others. I will update this list on a regular basis. Thank you so much for providing a tremendous stimulus for all of us to find ways to share a bit of ourselves to make our world and local community just a little bit better.

Note: This list will become a permanent resource on satisfying retirement. It will become a link on the sidebar for your use at any time in the future.

If you enjoyed the original post and this list of ideas I'd appreciate your clicking the  g+ button below. It helps spread the word.


  1. What a great idea to make this a permanent link. Many people want to volunteer, but don't know where to start. Now they can start right here on your site!

    1. Thanks, Galen. The "time" to explore volunteer opportunities is different for each of us. So, having the list available when someone wants to follow up seems to make sense.

  2. Thanks Bob for the list and the links. I would also add volunteering for the Veteran's Administration Hospitals to this list. I suspect they'll need lots of people in the years to come. I actually did this years ago in my twenties, and it was very rewarding.


    1. Great idea, Gail. I have added a link to the volunteer page for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Our vets need our support and help and volunteering is a great way to give back to these men and women.

  3. Another means of volunteering is to support our active duty military troops overseas. I belong to a non-profit group called Soldiers Angels ( that has a wide variety of ways to support not only the troops but their families and our veterans. There are other groups as well that write letters, send care packages, and do other things. These can be done whether you are retired or not.

  4. What a great idea...I would love to add SOFTACARE to this list.

    Give a child a smile and you can change their day – but give a child the confidence to smile, to sing, to interact and Xpress themselves and you will change their whole life.

    For kids in foster and kinship care – especially those recovering from the loss of parents, trauma, abuse and neglect – feeling safe enough to communicate and connect with other children, foster families, teachers and their community isn’t easy. It feels risky. Acting out and shutting down are self-defence.

    To find out more visit

    Thanks Katrina

    1. For all the readers down under, absolutely! I'll also add it to the master list of volunteer opportunities on the left sidebar.


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