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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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:58 pm

Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by heyyou » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:43 am

On my daily walks on the roads in my somewhat forested, rural neighborhood, I pick up roadside litter.

I was curious about a trans-state hiking trail, so I went to a trail maintenance event. Ten years later, after working a couple of days per week, year 'round, I finally lost interest in dealing with some of the other (now old and grumpy) volunteers. Separately, I had backpacked the entire trail in segments, twice. In the most rugged, nearby portion, I used hand saws in the no-power-tools-allowed wilderness, including buying a 60", hundred year old cross cut saw, to clear hundreds of fire-killed, fallen trees off of some spots on the trail. I called that "out smarting dead trees" since you do cut them, where they will be the easiest to pry off of the trail. My record tree for solo, hand sawing, was 29" & 30" thick on the two cuts. My remark on that was, "They were looking for someone with a strong back and a weak mind. They said I was the most qualified candidate for the job."

Sometime in that period, I started volunteering at the local Forest Service office, helping to clean litter and toilets in campgrounds. You never know when some of your previous military training will come in handy. I retired from that one after accumulating a thousand hours, working one or two days a week.

I like volunteer work for as long as it feels purposeful.

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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by rikki » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:03 am

I work as an Ombudsman for long term care (very robust volunteer program in my state). The nursing home I'm assigned to has very many needy residents, many of them surprisingly young and with mental health issues. It has been an eye opener!

I also spend a half day a week at my town's "Survival Center" working in the pantry (which operates like a grocery store with loads of local produce and daily contributions from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's) acting as a personal shopping assistant and stocking shelves. The center offers medical, dental and foot care, a social worker, a store for clothing and household goods as well as a fantastic "restaurant", and serves 13 contiguous towns so it is quite busy.

I have often thought about combining travel with medical mission type work (retired physician) but have been reluctant to get too involved with those groups that are highly sectarian. For those who may have done this work, any suggestions for online resources?

Old Guy
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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Old Guy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:09 am

I volunteer with an organization that picks up left over food from the markets and delivers it to food banks.

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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by bac » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:57 am

I volunteer at my countywide food pantry. I signed up the Tuesday after the Friday (the 13th) I retired, knowing that I would need some sort of activity at least one day a week.

All in all, it's been very rewarding and good for me. My regular shift is one morning a week as a shopper, as it's a "client choice" pantry and we go around with clients to guide their choices, dependent on family size and other factors. I work with wonderful colleagues and staff members.

I also do a monthly home delivery and occasional other work (i.e., mailings, sorting). I strayed into a couple of activities where I worked with upper management, but learned that non-profits have internal politics, too. I'm happier as a worker bee.

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Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Cody6136 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:37 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:28 pm
This is an amazing thread. You’re all quite inspiring!

+1. I have worked as a fundraiser doing "cause work" for more than 25 years. I've worked in environmental, disaster relief, animal rescue and educational charities.

Some of these non-profit organizations are the world's largest; others are local private nonprofits.

I can say with complete confidence that none of these causes could function without a strong cadre of dedicated volunteers.

Thank you all for your kindness!!!

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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:46 pm

Re: Volunteer suggestions

Post by Julieta7 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:47 pm

Retired 3 years ago to care for grandchildren. Parents ALWAYS love grandparents to help out when they are able. On the days we are not with them, I substitute teach in a Spanish immersion elementary school. As a retired teacher who loved the job, substitute teaching is a wonderful way to stay active in the schools and work with children. Schools are a great way to give back to a community that may have many needs and no/low funds for the extras. My husband volunteers as a sports coach 5 days a week. The teaching staff at most schools are highly dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our students.

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