Volunteer suggestions

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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pivoprussia
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Volunteer suggestions

Post by pivoprussia » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:24 am

With retirement on the horizon for me, I would love to hear what people here are doing to volunteer.

So far I am planning a mission trip and doing Meals on Wheels.

Please inspire me (us) with your good deeds. Thanks.

Sconie
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Sconie » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:43 am

Hmm.....I've been retired for seven years now and what I've generally found is that being a "volunteer" is not all that it is cracked-up to be. I'm still on a couple of boards----one non-profit/tax-exempt and one paid, for profit (then again, I supposed it's not really "volunteer" if I'm paid as a board member)----and those have been my best experiences. That said, I've also been "just" a regular volunteer for some events and it seems that being a "volunteer" can also mean "work for free"----and unfortunately, in the process, one's skills and abilities are not used very effectively.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Alan Greenspan

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jimgour
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by jimgour » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:03 am

My wife and I have been retired for 18 years now (retired a bit early). My wife is currently volunteering two days per week, one at the local hospital gift shop and one at our local senior center. I have volunteered at our senior center also, delivering meals on wheels and also driving people who cannot drive to medical appointments, some for as far as 90 miles one way.

We have both also volunteered at state parks in Washington state, Oregon and South Dakota. We do our volunteering around the country in conjunction with our RV travels. We don't necessarily try to use our working year's expertise, instead we enjoy trying new and different things in retirement. We also don't consider our volunteering "good deeds", but rather a kind of "paying it forward" type of thing. Not every volunteer job is a great experience, but they are all great learning experiences and opportunities to meet people from all walks of life.

ER2023
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by ER2023 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:57 am

Check out the Volunteer Match website. You input your location and the volunteer opportunities in your area are posted based on your interest (arts, animals, children, seniors, community etc):

https://www.volunteermatch.org

We also have a local website in our area that does a similar service - you can try googling "volunteer opportunities in <location>" to see if one exits in your area.

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nisiprius
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by nisiprius » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:30 am

I am currently a literacy volunteer, in a program hosted by our public library. There are two tracks: one for teaching reading and writing to native speakers, and an ESOL* track for teaching English to speakers of other languages. I'm in the ESOL program. I received eighteen hours of training. You're expected to tutor for a two-hour session per week. My students are motivated adults who are interested in learning. Since it is individual tutoring, you follow the students' needs--you don't need to follow the same lesson plan with everyone, nor worry about standardized testing. Relationships between students and teachers often continue for more than a year.

If you've ever done any teaching, you'll appreciate that this is heaven for anyone who wants to teach.

There's an umbrella organization called "Literacy Volunteers of America," but it seems to be basically a loose coordinating organization and all the nuts and bolts is done by smaller programs that belong to LVA. And of course there are other programs as well. I just found this article and it has useful links: Forbes: The Bliss of Being an Adult Literacy Volunteer

*Please do not ask me to explain the differences between EFL (English as a foreign language), ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), and ELL (English language learners). Methinks there are academic rivalries and politics involved, but I don't know. As far as I'm concerned, they're all the same. Maybe if I'd had more than eighteen hours of training... :)
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:43 am

Good causes are not hard to find.

Check out your local Habit for Humanity. They can almost always use volunteers on a building or renovation site, particularly on weekdays. You do not need any special skills to volunteer for HFH. They will teach you (safely) to perform any of tasks they take on building/renovating houses.

They may need volunteers to assist at HFH "Restore" stores if you have one in your area.

They may volunteers to teach basic financial literacy classes that HFH requires potential home owners attend.

Our local hospital uses lots of volunteers to perform various tasks - from driving courtesy parking lot carts, staffing info desk, to visiting with patients.

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friar1610
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by friar1610 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:56 am

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:30 am
I am currently a literacy volunteer, in a program hosted by our public library. There are two tracks: one for teaching reading and writing to native speakers, and an ESOL* track for teaching English to speakers of other languages. I'm in the ESOL program. I received eighteen hours of training. You're expected to tutor for a two-hour session per week. My students are motivated adults who are interested in learning. Since it is individual tutoring, you follow the students' needs--you don't need to follow the same lesson plan with everyone, nor worry about standardized testing. Relationships between students and teachers often continue for more than a year.

If you've ever done any teaching, you'll appreciate that this is heaven for anyone who wants to teach.

There's an umbrella organization called "Literacy Volunteers of America," but it seems to be basically a loose coordinating organization and all the nuts and bolts is done by smaller programs that belong to LVA. And of course there are other programs as well. I just found this article and it has useful links: Forbes: The Bliss of Being an Adult Literacy Volunteer



*Please do not ask me to explain the differences between EFL (English as a foreign language), ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), and ELL (English language learners). Methinks there are academic rivalries and politics involved, but I don't know. As far as I'm concerned, they're all the same. Maybe if I'd had more than eighteen hours of training... :)
^ I do something very similar at my local library, find it enjoyable and satisfying.
Friar1610

livesoft
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:12 am

This summer I am a volunteer for a bird banding project that captures birds in mesh nets, bands them, collects data on them. Lots of mosquitoes and snakes join us in this swampy endeavor which requires arriving on site before 5:30 am. I've set up to do some trail maintenance and bridge-building later this summer.

I am on the finance committee of an international professional organization. No compensation for that, so it must be volunteer work.

I do some teaching in scientific workshops for professors, post-doctoral scientists, and graduate students. I used to volunteer to coach youth sports.

My spouse is a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and does several other activities.

Are these all good deeds? I dunno. Do they have to be? :)
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Sheepdog
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:20 am

Volunteering is doing wonders for me when I can do what I love. I have found several soul saving volunteer possibilities before and after retiring 21 years ago, including great foreign and domestic projects sponsored by my Rotary Club, being on a symphony Board, helping out with social agencies like agencies of the United Way, special community help working days, but my working with children is making my life especially enjoyable which helps keep me young at heart, if not in body. I have been on our Girl Scout Board for years and I don't have a daughter or grand daughter. I probably volunteer 25 to 30 hours a week on average, maybe more (I don't keep track) and my favorites are within our local Children's Museum where I have thousands of grandchildren to play with and be their friend, teacher and someone who makes them laugh; and my reading to and with kindergartners thru our United Way "Success by Six" program which is fun and rewarding for me and I know for them.

What do you enjoy? There is a place for you there.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

Nowizard
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Nowizard » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:32 am

I would suggest entering the realm of "What am I going to do in retirement" with a lot of planning but few commitments for a period of time. If you are known in your community, you will get a flood of "opportunities" to be on Boards, volunteer, etc., often with an agenda of you also providing donations. Charity may well be a part of your life and goal, as it is for many of us, but retirees are often flooded with requests that become too numerous to consider. Another factor is your personality. Some are quite outgoing and want to volunteer as an eventual, informal leader who interacts with groups of other volunteers. Others are more introverted and wish to stay in the background. Either way there are many opportunities. One is to read books and articles over local, small radio stations that target those who are fragile and those who are visually impaired along with others who are simply more interested in listening to a live voice on radio than to digital books narrated by professional readers.

Tim

sixtyforty
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by sixtyforty » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:54 am

I'm a Volunteer Ranger. The process involved passing an interview for acceptance, then week long training along with CPR and first aid certification. I mainly patrol on a mountain bike in our natural areas and parks. It's been a lot of fun meeting people, educating etc. I'm always tickled when I hear people thanking me for my service.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

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Sandtrap
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:19 am

pivoprussia wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:24 am
With retirement on the horizon for me, I would love to hear what people here are doing to volunteer.

So far I am planning a mission trip and doing Meals on Wheels.

Please inspire me (us) with your good deeds. Thanks.
About 5 years.
Played and sang Hawaiian music solo or with a trio 1-2x/month.
1 hour show on stage or large halls at various senior care facilities, etc.

Stopped a number of years ago.

Very rewarding.
j :happy
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cherijoh
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by cherijoh » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:24 am

I have volunteered for many years with a local organization that promotes cultural diversity - I coordinate an English conversation program for internationals learning English as a second language. Now that I'm retired, I participate in some of their daytime programs. I also volunteer with League of Women Voters to attend naturalization ceremonies and register the new citizens to vote. Last school year I was a reading tutor for several 3rd graders through a program called HELPS (Helping Early LIteracy with Pratice Strategies) sponsored by Reading is Fundamental. Seventy-five percent of the students in the program at my school advanced to at least reading at grade level after the intervention. Next school year I'm thinking of being a Math Tutor through Heart Math.

tomd37
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by tomd37 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:07 am

I retired in 2002 at the age of 65. After a year of completing 'honey-do things' around the home my wife said that I needed "to find a volunteer job." I found a 'job" at the Second Harvest Food Bank and volunteered there for five years sorting food products. During that time I discovered the AARP Foundation Tax Counseling for the Elderly program (also referred to as Tax-Aide) and have completed 15 years volunteering in the preparation of federal and state income tax returns. The tax preparation season in only four months long, but I stay involved with the program for several more months during the year to a lesser degree. New and refresher training is provided each year in early January and all participants have to certify/recertify each year. The IRS sponsors TCE and another similar program Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). VITA is under the umbrella of the local United Way organization. Both are great programs!
Tom D.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:12 am

Don't discount a part time, paying job. if you do not want or need the money - donate it to a favorite charity.

One of my younger co-workers told me that her retired father wanted more to do. So, he somehow found a part-time job driving elderly folks to and from medical appointments. His pay was not great, but he likes helping people and keeping busy. He is an immigrant and this driving service company wanted someone to do this who spoke the language of their mostly immigrant clients.

Win - win! he is busy, happy and helping others.

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lthenderson
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:28 am

I volunteer at my church. I belong to two charitable fraternal organizations. I got into local politics and sit on the school board along with various city committees from time to time. I have reached the point where I have decided not to do any more volunteering unless I remove something from my current slate as it is becoming more work than my previous 9 to 5 gig.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by SrGrumpy » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:33 am

As of right now, this thread is adjacent to this one:

If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

... a nice match.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:35 am

friar1610 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:56 am
nisiprius wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:30 am
I am currently a literacy volunteer, in a program hosted by our public library. There are two tracks: one for teaching reading and writing to native speakers, and an ESOL* track for teaching English to speakers of other languages. I'm in the ESOL program. I received eighteen hours of training. You're expected to tutor for a two-hour session per week. My students are motivated adults who are interested in learning. Since it is individual tutoring, you follow the students' needs--you don't need to follow the same lesson plan with everyone, nor worry about standardized testing. Relationships between students and teachers often continue for more than a year.

If you've ever done any teaching, you'll appreciate that this is heaven for anyone who wants to teach.

There's an umbrella organization called "Literacy Volunteers of America," but it seems to be basically a loose coordinating organization and all the nuts and bolts is done by smaller programs that belong to LVA. And of course there are other programs as well. I just found this article and it has useful links: Forbes: The Bliss of Being an Adult Literacy Volunteer



*Please do not ask me to explain the differences between EFL (English as a foreign language), ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), and ELL (English language learners). Methinks there are academic rivalries and politics involved, but I don't know. As far as I'm concerned, they're all the same. Maybe if I'd had more than eighteen hours of training... :)
^ I do something very similar at my local library, find it enjoyable and satisfying.
Thank you both for this. I learned English as a 7-8 year old, back in the dark ages when what one did with a child who spoke a different language was to repeat everything loudly and slowly, making the child want to scream "I'm not hard of hearing and I'm not stupid." I still have a chip on my shoulder about it, all these years later.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:38 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:19 am
pivoprussia wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:24 am
With retirement on the horizon for me, I would love to hear what people here are doing to volunteer.
So far I am planning a mission trip and doing Meals on Wheels.
Please inspire me (us) with your good deeds. Thanks.
About 5 years.
Played and sang Hawaiian music solo or with a trio 1-2x/month.
1 hour show on stage or large halls at various senior care facilities, etc.
Stopped a number of years ago.
Very rewarding.
j :happy
This might win the award for "least expected post from a BH." Good for you! None of my business, but why'd you quit?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:43 am

Last year, I saw a post on Nextdoor about firewood from the town forest that was available to locals (discount for seniors). I decided to call, and was talked into coming out to see what was involved in the work.

What a blast! At 67, I'm the youngest, but by no means the most physically able. I'm clumsy, so my wife made me promise not to operate the splitter or chain saw, but I'm perfectly able to stack wood, haul it from splitter to stack, clean up the bark, etc. We also deliver during the season. We only harvest trees that have fallen in the town forest (a gazillion acres). Many people around here heat with wood.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:04 am

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:28 am
I volunteer at my church. I belong to two charitable fraternal organizations. I got into local politics and sit on the school board along with various city committees from time to time. I have reached the point where I have decided not to do any more volunteering unless I remove something from my current slate as it is becoming more work than my previous 9 to 5 gig.
If you are also interested in financially supporting a deserving cause - get involved as a volunteer as well. That way you can learn a lot about the organization and whether it meets your standards for your financial support. I do this for one organization.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:12 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:38 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:19 am
pivoprussia wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:24 am
With retirement on the horizon for me, I would love to hear what people here are doing to volunteer.
So far I am planning a mission trip and doing Meals on Wheels.
Please inspire me (us) with your good deeds. Thanks.
About 5 years.
Played and sang Hawaiian music solo or with a trio 1-2x/month.
1 hour show on stage or large halls at various senior care facilities, etc.
Stopped a number of years ago.
Very rewarding.
j :happy
This might win the award for "least expected post from a BH." Good for you! None of my business, but why'd you quit?
Relocated from Hawaii to Prescott,AZ.
Nerve damage in my left hand so can no longer play a guitar fingerboard for too long.
Yes. Do miss performing. And, the tremendous gratification.

Forum Member "jazztonight" also contributes with his outstanding piano and vocal duo at senior centers, etc.

j
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InMyDreams
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by InMyDreams » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:13 am

+1 for TaxAide or VITA. It provided me with financial insight while giving me an opportunity to serve and meet other people.

I am volunteering with a free clinic within my field. Definitely need to go with the flow. It is nice because there is no time pressure.

My brother had started volunteering with the local cross-country ski team when his kids were in high school. He continued to volunteer after they graduated, and continues to volunteer now in retirement. Trail watching (e.g., dealing with the moose by the track), score/time keeper, etc.

Find an interest, try something new. If the clinic gig doesn't work out for me, there's the food bank or more exploration ;)

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:45 am

InMyDreams wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:13 am
+1 for TaxAide or VITA. It provided me with financial insight while giving me an opportunity to serve and meet other people.
I am volunteering with a free clinic within my field. Definitely need to go with the flow. It is nice because there is no time pressure.
My brother had started volunteering with the local cross-country ski team when his kids were in high school. He continued to volunteer after they graduated, and continues to volunteer now in retirement. Trail watching (e.g., dealing with the moose by the track), score/time keeper, etc.
Find an interest, try something new. If the clinic gig doesn't work out for me, there's the food bank or more exploration ;)
If you have the funds, the time and the physical ability - there may be some international "Medical Missions" you might look into. Some of these do not require actual medical credentials but organizational skills to funnel patients to the medical professionals. There are also such trips to third world countries to help build houses, sanitation issues - such as latrines and water purification, and teaching training local folks on many kinds of issues.

jebmke
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by jebmke » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:48 am

I also do TaxAide. Tax prep 2-3 days a week during the season (Feb-April). I also help run the training program and provide technical support for three districts in MD.

TaxAide is one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country with ~35,000 volunteers. I think there are only a dozen paid staff - maybe a little more but certainly less than 20 nation-wide.

I am also on the advisory board of a local senior center.

When I first retired, I got involved in helping survey birds on a large conservation site(1,000 acres). There are a number of large landholdings in the area that have been put into conservancy. Audubon and some other organizations frequently do baseline surveys and then monitor wildlife counts to see if the habitat restoration is effective. Did this for about three years.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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homebrewer888
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by homebrewer888 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:50 am

I like "fixing things" (retired engineer). I volunteer at my church as maintenance superintendent -- it is basically an unpaid part-time job. I retired a week before Hurricane Florence last September and that provided me ample opportunity for recovery/re-build of flooded houses in my area through church groups and Habitat for Humanity. I also enjoy doing repairs and maintenance of cars for my friends and family. All of this contributes to a "satisfied" life to me.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:54 am

On the, fortunately infrequent, hospitalizations for my wife and I, I often see a lot of senior volunteers doing all sorts of things - such as wheeling patients to a car as they check out of the hospital. These seniors always seem very happy and pleasant.

While most of the, even very elderly, volunteers can handle most of the tasks, it seems that a few, very large/heavy patients may need someone a bit stronger to wheel them out.

I also noticed that my Kaiser medical center is also looking for volunteers for that kind of thing.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:19 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:45 am
InMyDreams wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:13 am
+1 for TaxAide or VITA. It provided me with financial insight while giving me an opportunity to serve and meet other people.
I am volunteering with a free clinic within my field. Definitely need to go with the flow. It is nice because there is no time pressure.
My brother had started volunteering with the local cross-country ski team when his kids were in high school. He continued to volunteer after they graduated, and continues to volunteer now in retirement. Trail watching (e.g., dealing with the moose by the track), score/time keeper, etc.
Find an interest, try something new. If the clinic gig doesn't work out for me, there's the food bank or more exploration ;)
If you have the funds, the time and the physical ability - there may be some international "Medical Missions" you might look into. Some of these do not require actual medical credentials but organizational skills to funnel patients to the medical professionals. There are also such trips to third world countries to help build houses, sanitation issues - such as latrines and water purification, and teaching training local folks on many kinds of issues.
I know a pilot guy/retired engineer who donates his time flying for "Doctors Without Borders". He has a large twin engine plane.
j :D
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50/50
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by 50/50 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:23 pm

I am a disaster relief volunteer responding to floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes etc. In the past I've volunteered for the Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, our local help center and one of our town committees.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:23 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:19 pm
dm200 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:45 am
InMyDreams wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:13 am
+1 for TaxAide or VITA. It provided me with financial insight while giving me an opportunity to serve and meet other people.
I am volunteering with a free clinic within my field. Definitely need to go with the flow. It is nice because there is no time pressure.
My brother had started volunteering with the local cross-country ski team when his kids were in high school. He continued to volunteer after they graduated, and continues to volunteer now in retirement. Trail watching (e.g., dealing with the moose by the track), score/time keeper, etc.
Find an interest, try something new. If the clinic gig doesn't work out for me, there's the food bank or more exploration ;)
If you have the funds, the time and the physical ability - there may be some international "Medical Missions" you might look into. Some of these do not require actual medical credentials but organizational skills to funnel patients to the medical professionals. There are also such trips to third world countries to help build houses, sanitation issues - such as latrines and water purification, and teaching training local folks on many kinds of issues.
I know a pilot guy/retired engineer who donates his time flying for "Doctors Without Borders". He has a large twin engine plane.
j :D
yes - wonderful work they do!

GmanJeff
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by GmanJeff » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:11 pm

1. Volunteer guitarist/singer every other month in the Memory Care Unit of a CCRC.
2. Serve on a disciplinary committee of the state bar association, usually one mtg/month.
3. Joined the Freemasons, a fraternal organization which engages in a range of philanthropic undertakings, reportedly resulting nationally in $2.6M/day being donated to a range of charities.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:38 pm

I know a Physician that has made trips to do surgery in various third world countries just about every year for many decades. Absolutely inspiring!!

She is now retired from doing such surgeries now, but continues in other roles with such countries.

I also know an emergency surgeon that went to such a third world country and participated in a forearm amputation for a young man who was in constant pain from a hand and forearm injury.

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lthenderson
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:11 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:04 am
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:28 am
I volunteer at my church. I belong to two charitable fraternal organizations. I got into local politics and sit on the school board along with various city committees from time to time. I have reached the point where I have decided not to do any more volunteering unless I remove something from my current slate as it is becoming more work than my previous 9 to 5 gig.
If you are also interested in financially supporting a deserving cause - get involved as a volunteer as well. That way you can learn a lot about the organization and whether it meets your standards for your financial support. I do this for one organization.
+1000

Being on the school board and a couple of the city government committees has certainly opened my eyes to "where the money goes" and that is both good and bad. It most certainly has been educational.

InMyDreams
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by InMyDreams » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:26 pm

homebrewer888 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:50 am
I volunteer at my church as maintenance superintendent -- it is basically an unpaid part-time job.
Every church needs/wants/and if lucky, has one such as you! Bless you :)

GreatLaker
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by GreatLaker » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:34 pm

Before retiring I did some board type of work. Board member then President then Treasurer at my condo. Chair of the residents' association. Co-chair of the local Community Police liaison committee (the other co-chair was the Police Superintendent). In a busy downtown area. All of them became tiring and stressful. Many of the local issues never go away or get resolved... they just abate for a while then come back.

Since retiring 2 years ago I moved in a different direction, volunteering for things that are less stressful, less of a planning role and more meaningful to me. I volunteer at the income tax clinic at the local 55+ centre. Many of the clients are low income, having only government pensions and living in subsidized housing. They don't use computers so would have a hard time doing it themselves, or paying a commercial tax clinic to do it. I have been an avid cyclist for most of my life, so I became a cycling instructor. We mostly do Bike Rodeos and Learn to Ride programs for kids, but also adult programs. The training was rigorous, 6 days of training, plus a 1 day first-aid course. There is a local bike shop that caters to low income cyclists where people can work to earn a bike. Later in the year I plan to volunteer there as a bike mechanic. Fall is a good time as a lot of university students need cheap transportation. They also work with Bicycles for Humanity which takes unloved bikes, repairs them, and donates them to developing countries. I cut the grass and do yard work at the local church. Not super fulfilling but good karma and there is a surprising amount of activity on the property.

I am mindful of my time, since I don't want to get the burnout factor I had in some previous roles.

kaesler
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Location: Boston, MA

Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by kaesler » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:45 pm

Not yet retired but in training for it.

There is a Catholic Church run meal center near here that feeds hundreds, 3 times a day. I keep an eye on an overlap between when they need people and when I am free on weekends, and sign up. It involves about 3 hours of cheerful busy work serving as a waiter or busboy for anyone needing a meal. You see the deserving and the possibly undeserving; the old and young; the grateful and otherwise; the polite and the surly; the sober and sometimes a bit less than sober. I get a free dinner.

It is a most welcome change from software development out of my home office.

I plan to sign up more regularly after I retire. I hope that will be in a year or two.

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AerialWombat
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by AerialWombat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:28 pm

This is an amazing thread. You’re all quite inspiring!
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

ohai
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by ohai » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:58 pm

I want to go work at Big Cat Rescue.

wcinnn
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by wcinnn » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:32 am

When my 3 daughters started having children I retired at 64. First grandchild was early and though I was experienced and comfortable around little ones I realized things had changed and that there was a body of knowledge about the early years I didn't have. So I took post partum doula and lactation consulting training. All 3 daughters have busy careers and my assistance makes things more manageable for their families. My husband is now retired and he has joined in providing back-up support to these young families. We now have 6 grandkids and another on the way. We are not primary care givers but rather fill in when someone gets sick or has to travel. This makes doing other volunteering nearly impossible because we choose to be available to help with the grandkids. Will eventually take these skills and interests somewhere else when they are no longer needed by my family.

Garfieldthecat
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Garfieldthecat » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:24 am

dm200 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:54 am
On the, fortunately infrequent, hospitalizations for my wife and I, I often see a lot of senior volunteers doing all sorts of things - such as wheeling patients to a car as they check out of the hospital. These seniors always seem very happy and pleasant.

While most of the, even very elderly, volunteers can handle most of the tasks, it seems that a few, very large/heavy patients may need someone a bit stronger to wheel them out.

I also noticed that my Kaiser medical center is also looking for volunteers for that kind of thing.
+1

We have plenty of volunteers at our hospital, including a lot of ex-senior execs apparently. From what their Director tells me, it makes for some fun times since they are used to making decisions in their old jobs, but now they are volunteers and can't enforce their decisions. :happy

As a plus, you get to know hospital staff and MD's, so if you have a medical issue, it can help getting a quick appt or knowing which MD is the best to go to.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:40 am

kaesler wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:45 pm
Not yet retired but in training for it.

There is a Catholic Church run meal center near here that feeds hundreds, 3 times a day. I keep an eye on an overlap between when they need people and when I am free on weekends, and sign up. It involves about 3 hours of cheerful busy work serving as a waiter or busboy for anyone needing a meal. You see the deserving and the possibly undeserving; the old and young; the grateful and otherwise; the polite and the surly; the sober and sometimes a bit less than sober. I get a free dinner.

It is a most welcome change from software development out of my home office.

I plan to sign up more regularly after I retire. I hope that will be in a year or two.
yes..

fposte
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by fposte » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:44 am

A retired friend of mine holds babies in the NICU. The hospital staff don't have time to do that, and it's good for the preemies to get the human contact, so they have trained volunteers to cuddle them.

Another friend is a trail volunteer in a nearby state park; she walks the trails once a month or so to make sure the trails are clear and to alert the park manager to possible problems.

Both of those seem enjoyable to me.

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Raybo
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Raybo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:53 am

I was a professional speaker. When I retired, I discovered that National Parks (and probably State Parks, as well) need docents. Docents are volunteers trained to give informative talks to people visiting the park.

I am lucky as I live in San Francisco and the National Park I volunteer at is Alcatraz. It not only has lots of history and stories to tell but thousands of visitors every day. When I am in SF, I go there once a week and talk to people from all over the world.

It is like volunteering at Disneyland! Also, since Alcatraz is known around the world, I often have a chance to talk about it and my experiences when I travel.

If I had more time, I might go there more often, as I always enjoy the time I spend there.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:59 am

An acquaintance of mine is a married woman in her early 40's - and one teenage son. She is not retired, but last year she volunteered for a few weeks to work at a western National Park. She did not get paid, but was provided basic housing (a bed in a shared facility) and food. Her son was fine with her husband at home for those few weeks.

She was able to schedule this because she is self-employed and could arrange to be away for three weeks or so.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:02 am

This discussion brings up an interesting topic -

In selecting (if you have a choice) a career, might a factor be how you transition into retirement. I have noticed, for example, that folks with teaching experience often can work part time or have productive volunteer opportunities.

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funktor
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by funktor » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:02 am

I write free and open source software to benefit communities/hobbies i'm a part of. It keeps my skills sharp and others get to use what I make, which is always fun.
Journey Before Destination

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Chicken lady
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Chicken lady » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:16 am

I haven't worked in 11 years - retired a tad early. I decided to volunteer doing the things that I like, or am good at and don't mind doing, or areas in which I have an interest.

Started out volunteering to visit a nursing home 2 x weekly as a volunteer ombudsman. In this role I talked to residents and tried to ascertain if they had complaints or concerns about their care, staff, future needs, you name it. I'd take those concerns to management so they could resolve the issue. If they refused to act appropriately the next step would have been to file a formal complaint but it never came to that. There were few complaints and the manager + staff were very person centered. They cared. I met some very nice and interesting people during this time.

Moved on to volunteering to work at outdoor craft fairs that feature craft artists selling their handmade art over the course of weekend. I just let them assign me to different tasks each time until I rotated through many of the tasks and had a pretty good understanding of the fair and the organization. I had been a paid member for many years. Moved into a Board of Directors role eventually and am now an officer. This role will last a few years.

Also served on another board, social service, that does good work for people who are caregivers. That lasted 3 years then I stepped away. I didn't lose interest in the topic but found It hard to participate because of the way this board operates - 90% of the board are working so they decided to have board meetings at 7 AM on a weekday. Over and out for me.

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dm200
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by dm200 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:17 am

Chicken lady wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:16 am
I haven't worked in 11 years - retired a tad early. I decided to volunteer doing the things that I like, or am good at and don't mind doing, or areas in which I have an interest.
Started out volunteering to visit a nursing home 2 x weekly as a volunteer ombudsman. In this role I talked to residents and tried to ascertain if they had complaints or concerns about their care, staff, future needs, you name it. I'd take those concerns to management so they could resolve the issue. If they refused to act appropriately the next step would have been to file a formal complaint but it never came to that. There were few complaints and the manager + staff were very person centered. They cared. I met some very nice and interesting people during this time.
Moved on to volunteering to work at outdoor craft fairs that feature craft artists selling their handmade art over the course of weekend. I just let them assign me to different tasks each time until I rotated through many of the tasks and had a pretty good understanding of the fair and the organization. I had been a paid member for many years. Moved into a Board of Directors role eventually and am now an officer. This role will last a few years.
Also served on another board, social service, that does good work for people who are caregivers. That lasted 3 years then I stepped away. I didn't lose interest in the topic but found It hard to participate because of the way this board operates - 90% of the board are working so they decided to have board meetings at 7 AM on a weekday. Over and out for me.
Like many folks I know, you seem to have been just as busy in retirement as when working.

Now in semi-retirement - one thing I have close to zero interest in is the "Senior Group" and similar activities. I am much happier volunteering for other groups that are not "Senior centered" - even though there may be a lot of retirees.

RudyS
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by RudyS » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:45 am

Another vote for the tax assistance programs (TaxAide and VITA). It provides a great service. I started with TaxAide when I first retired in 2000 and we used pencil and paper. There are roles in the program in addition to the preparation of returns: training other volunteers, site coordination, etc. Regretfully we moved out of state and to continue I'll have to learn the tax rules in my new state.

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Matahari
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Matahari » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:52 pm

Local food bank.

I used to volunteer a great deal more time sorting and packaging for the clients who use the service. But my joints and flexibility are not holding up as well as I'd like and I'm donating more funds now than time.

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