Volunteering in the Community
Marvin P. Love, Retired MEA-MFT
Volunteering in the community can be a rewarding experience for retirees. You'll meet people you never would have met otherwise. I retired in the spring of 1997, and since 1998 I have been involved in some form or other of volunteer effort here in Townsend.
One of my first volunteer jobs was to help out once a month at the Broadwater Health Care Center. Several of us retirees get involved on days when they have wheelchair dancing. Most of the residents are in wheelchairs, so we push them around in time to the dance tunes.
I also volunteer at the elementary school with the remedial reading session for grades k-3. Students who need help with their reading are sent to volunteers in the library. We listen to the students for about 30 minutes, helping them read and doing other activities with them.
It's a good program; all the teachers have commented on how well it has helped students improve their reading.
I also get asked during the school year to chaperone dances and ski trips, help out at tournaments, and anything else that comes up.
Volunteering in the community is not only rewarding, it's also educational. If you have the desire to volunteer, get the word out to individuals in city government, the school system, local churches, and any other organization looking for volunteers.
Just talking to your best friend can get the ball rolling. In our area, one of the groups that helps place volunteers is the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
A word of caution: Don't get yourself into too much. It can be overwhelming at times. You can get to the point where volunteer time interferes with time you need for yourself.
If you are interesting in volunteering, give it a shot. It's worth it.