Volunteer to Make a Difference in Your Community
Have you ever volunteered for a project you felt was worthwhile? Maybe you helped in a school, or canned food drive, or just picked up groceries for a friend. Volunteering not only helps those around us feel special; it helps the volunteer become part of a group with a common goal in mind – the goal of strengthening the community.
Seniors can sometimes feel separated from their neighbors, and can become lonely or feel isolated when living alone. Many elders have joined gardening groups, bridge clubs, or have taken a class at the local community center to stay active and involved.
Volunteering is another great way for seniors to make a difference in the community. With their wealth of experience, so many opportunities to help others are readily found. Seniors raised on a farm might be a great resource at a community garden, for example. Military veterans might comfort other soldiers by volunteering in a support group for younger war veterans. Sharing your own experience enlightens others, and broadens their view of the world.
Another way that becoming a volunteer can help seniors stay involved and present in the community is by giving them a chance to experience something new. A volunteer in an animal shelter may spend an hour petting and visiting with cats or walking dogs – relaxing for the volunteer, and potentially life-altering for the animal. The same holds true for volunteering at a hospital or school, homeless shelter, church or library: just by being present and positive, the volunteer can give to the community and take back a sense of belonging and self worth. A few hours each week can give seniors something to look forward to and talk about with their friends, and help the community grow stronger.
If you haven’t volunteered lately, make it a goal in 2013. Let’s help our senior friends and relatives find a renewed focus this year, and for years to come!