The Gift that Gives Back: Volunteering During Retirement

Do you have special skills, a former professional specialty or a hobby that can be shared with others who’ll benefit from your time and expertise?  

Several studies have shown that volunteerism by seniors not only benefits the recipients of their generosity, but it comes with major personal benefits as well. It keeps your brain active. Emotional and mental well-being improve, and the physical benefits of staying active cannot be denied. 

Volunteering prevents isolation and depression. Plus, if seniors volunteer with youth, the magical bridging of the age gap happens, which helps both generations. 

Consider: all of us really do have something to share as a volunteer, and the ways you can help may surprise you. We are excited to start researching to share MORE, but for now, we’ll just give you a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg with a few interesting ways to volunteer that already exist in Southern Delaware. (AND if you have a worthy cause you want to share, please pass it along through email, connect@delawareretiree.com).

Do you have an accounting background? It’s tax season, and many seniors need help filing their taxes correctly -without having the expense. The Lewes Senior Center annually partners with AARP and their legal aid program, providing free tax assistance. MANY other nonprofits also can benefit from bookkeeping help and plenty of other office tasks – even if it’s just to answer the phone to free up the staff.  

Has cancer touched you or someone in your family? Cancer Support Community of Delaware is currently seeking volunteers for its Rehoboth Beach Wings of Hope campaign and/or its annual Pink Affair to support breast cancer patients and survivors. The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition has local events and projects as well, so take a look at the opportunities to get connected and volunteer on their website.

Other healthcare volunteer opportunities abound! Blood Bank of Delmarva needs ambassadors and administrative help in its drives all around Delmarva throughout the year. And hundreds of volunteers are needed annually at many of the local hospice organizations. Whether it is providing companionship, knitting warm clothing for the patients or playing a soothing instrument for them, hospices and long term care facilities are always looking for help. Even volunteering to make visits with your therapy pet makes a difference.  

Do you have reliable transportation and don’t mind the local traffic? For some folks, driving is their happy place. Well, plenty of transportation volunteers are also needed locally. Meals on Wheels drivers provide a hot cooked meal to the homebound, and the happiest time of day for them. Local senior centers also need drivers to transport their members without transportation rides to events, doctor appointments and errands. 

Yes, you’ve guessed it. The list is never-ending, (AND you can find plenty of ways to GIVE BACK on your own, with neighbors or folks you meet on walks around the dog park, because once you get talking, it’s easy to find need!) It’s important to keep a balance about your approach, so that you’re not overwhelmed by trying to fix everything and everyone, BUT you love being able to make a difference in the ways where YOUR PASSION and SKILLS meet THE NEEDS AROUND YOU!

See you again soon, in our next VOLUNTEERING article!

One response to “The Gift that Gives Back: Volunteering During Retirement

  1. I am a recently retired Optometrist with 40 years of experience. I miss my chosen profession but do not desire to return to active practice. Perhaps I can find a vision service for the uninsured or homeless to help them preserve their gift of sight.

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