When this post was first written almost six years ago, it generated a lot of comments and follow up emails. The subject of volunteering is an important one for many retirees. I thought it was worth a revisit, with some fresh thoughts from me.
As the triple digit temperatures slowly leave Phoenix, my thoughts turn to more outside activities and involvement. Long time readers know I was involved with prison ministry for several years. It was challenging and satisfying work. I have worked as a tour guide at Frank Lloyd Wight's Arizona home, Taliesin West. For the last two years I have spent time on a United Way Steering Committee attempting to find new ways to help retirees find a good match volunteer opportunities.
Starting in two weeks I will begin teaching a Junior Achievement class to a group of 5th graders. I must have some of my mom's genes since teaching seems to agree with me.
I Need You
I know many of you are active volunteers in all sorts of ways. So, I would deeply appreciate you responding in the comment section below with answers to any of these questions (if they apply to your volunteer situation):
1. What volunteer work do you do?
2. How did you decide this was a good fit?
3. Did try a few different things before you found one that fit you?
4. Have there been any drawbacks?
Like everyone else, I am very interested in learning about the wide variety of volunteer opportunities that exist for us. I bet there will be things I have never thought of that would be a tremendous way to give back to my community while feeling good about myself.
So, please, anything you do to help....let us know. Teaching Sunday school, walking a neighbor's dog because she can't, school crossing guard......it doesn't have to be as dramatic as working with prison inmates ,but it might be! Our society has more needs than we have volunteers.
Do you know someone who is an inspiration in this area but he or she doesn't normally read this blog? Could I ask you a favor: would you ask them to come over this one time and tell us about what they do?
Let's build a list of your ways to give back and inspire someone to put a spark into their satisfying retirement.