For many Kendal at Oberlin residents, community engagement is nothing new. I'm a shopper for the Stephens Care Center, says resident Cate, an avid volunteer. I usually do that about once every couple of months. I've done Meals on Wheels for years, and I'm still able to do a small job at the church.
Resident Carol also volunteers her time in the greater Oberlin community. I'm on a Family Promise board, which collaborates with churches in the county to help homeless people. They stay at our church for a week at a time, four times a year, she says.
Volunteering is an excellent way older adults can give back to their communities. And, depending on the task, it can also be a fun way to soak up the sunshine and get your exercise in. Are you looking for new ways to give back and get moving? See the following ideas for remaining active while volunteering this summer!
No matter the cause you are passionate about supporting, it's likely there is an organization that not only shares your concerns, but also holds a walk or run to help raise awareness and funds. You can help out by signing up to participate in the walks or volunteer to help set up on event days.
Community or Religious Festivals
Festivals are fun for people of all ages and backgrounds. Talk to your place of worship or community's festival planning committee to see how you can be of assistance for this summer's event. Be sure to volunteer yourself for a task that will keep you on your feet and away from any unhealthy festival foods.
People often feel angry when they see a neglectful driver tossing litter out of his or her window. By volunteering for roadside cleanup, you can increase public awareness of the importance of protecting our natural resources, beautify the roadway, and get your day's exercise in! When volunteering, be sure you have all of the proper equipment, including: safety vests, work gloves and/or latex gloves, boots or closed-toe shoes, plus sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat for protection from the sun. You may also want to bring a reacher to reduce stretching, reaching, and bending.
If you love working with children, summer camp counseling may be the right volunteer activity for you! As a summer camp counselor, your day could be filled with everything from hiking and swimming to crafting and making nutritional outdoor snacks. If you volunteer with older children or teenagers, you may even get to share pointers about your favorite outdoor activities, such as tennis, golfing, or fishing. (Note: Volunteering as a camp counselor may involve first aid and other training or certification.)
If you're one for working with your hands, you might enjoy volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, an organization dedicated to providing affordable housing to those in need. As a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, you'll work alongside homeowner or partner families who must invest their own labor into building a house, along with a down payment and monthly mortgage. Learn more by visiting the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity online.
Dont see an active summer volunteer opportunity that suits you? You can find even more volunteer opportunities on the Greater Cleveland Volunteers website. Download our free guide Remaining Active: How to Begin a Regular Exercise Routine for tips to help you get moving this summer.