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June 13, 2013

4 Ways Older Adults Can Give Back With Community Service

You’'ve gained a wealth of skills and knowledge in your lifetime. Why not share them in your retirement? Every community has a variety of worthy causes that could benefit from your experience and input. If you’'re feeling adventurous, charitable mission work could even take you across the country or around the globe.

There are hundreds of opportunities for older adults to give back to their communities, from volunteering at a soup kitchen to beautifying local parks. We’ll take a look at just a few here.

Become a Foster Grandparent

Foster Grandparenting is an official program of the Senior Corps, operated by the Corporation for National and Community Service. You’'ve learned a thing or two about raising young men and women of good character in your lifetime. This is a way you can share that experience and improve the lives of even more young people. Foster grandparents do everything from mentoring teens to helping care for premature infants or children with disabilities. Check out the link above to learn more about getting involved in your community.

Join the American Red Cross

When disasters big and small strike our communities, the American Red Cross is there to help pick up the pieces. You’re probably familiar with the American Red Cross’ efforts in major natural disasters like floods and hurricanes. In the aftermath, volunteers help get storm victims needed food, water, shelter, and other necessities. But the American Red Cross has smaller missions that are just as important. It organizes blood drives and supports families who lose their homes to house fires. Learn more about joining the American Red Cross at the link above.

Faith-based Charitable Missions

Many faith-based organizations have volunteer corps that travel the world providing relief to impoverished people in need of food, water, medicine, and education. You can find some of them here, or you can ask your church about opportunities. While most people give money to these charities, there are sometimes ways to give back with your time. Just be sure to check out what will be required thoroughly before you decided to embark on a mission.

Create Your Own Opportunity

You likely have special interests or skills you’'d like to put to work when choosing a volunteer opportunity. If there isn’'t an obvious way to use those skills in your community, check out www.volunteermatch.org. This site lets you specify your interests and location to match you up with the right volunteer work for you.

Want to learn more about staying active and involved in your retirement years? Check out our blog at www.kendalnorthernohio.com.

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photo credit: Dell's Official Flickr Page


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