It has been a long time since I offered a post that posed a question about volunteering. It has always been a given that, after retirement, there is often a desire to spend part of one's time serving in some way. The benefits of helping others have been well-known for quite a long time.
Like many, I over-committed myself during the first several years. While things like Prison Ministry and being a Stephen Minister counselor were fulfilling, both took a lot of time and energy. Then, I added in some food bank work and I found myself resenting the demands on my time, demands I had accepted. There was no one to blame, and no one who could put his life back into balance except me. So, I focused on what was the best match for my personality and skill set.
That realization led me to write the post a decade ago asking readers for ideas on how they decided if volunteering was important. And, if so, how did they decide which opportunities to pursue. I hoped asking for ideas would help others decide on the proper balance.
It is high time to get some fresh input and ideas from you. The last time, dozens of comments presented possibilities for helping others and the community that apparently hit a chord. The number of views was one of the highest for this blog during its first year.
So, here we go again.
I know many of the folks who visit this blog 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?
I am sincerely looking forward to your ideas, thoughts, and cautions.