April Is National Volunteer Month
By Carolanne Chavanne, CFP®
April is National Volunteer Month! The occasion was first established by a 1974 presidential proclamation to raise awareness of volunteering and to show appreciation for the many dedicated volunteers serving throughout America. It's a great time to honor all of our volunteers and encourage participation in this vital support of our communities.
In celebration of National Volunteer Month, let's look at some fun and unique ways you can get involved in your community.
The Benefits of Volunteering
Being a volunteer improves the lives of many and retirees are the perfect candidate for this important work. Volunteering in retirement can provide many benefits:
- It's good for your mental health.
- It helps prevent isolation.
- It gives you a feeling of purpose.
- It's a chance to meet new friends.
- It's a way to connect with loved ones.
- It increases your physical activity.
- It helps you learn new skills.1
It's clear that giving back to others and making a positive impact is satisfying, and the rewards go both ways. Now, let's look at some tips to help you find the perfect volunteering opportunity!
Tips for Volunteering
Finding the right volunteering opportunity starts with a few simple tips. Here are some that can help:
You likely don't have to look far to find a great volunteering opportunity. Check out your local newspaper, community forum, or Facebook group to see if there are ways to get involved.
Choose Something You're Passionate About
Look for a volunteering opportunity you are genuinely interested in and a cause you care about. If you're an animal lover, animal shelters always need dog walkers, kennel assistants, and office help. Environmentalists might volunteer on a permaculture farm or help an environmental conservation nonprofit. Book lovers can find volunteer positions at town libraries.
Be Conscious Of Your Time
Your time is valuable, so be honest about how much of it you can spend on a volunteer project. Begin with a limited commitment, and then you can scale up if you want.
Talk to Friends and Family
If an opportunity looks promising, do your research by talking to other volunteers to see if it is a good fit for you. You can also talk to friends and family to see if they have any recommendations for volunteer opportunities.
Ready to get started on your next volunteering adventure for National Volunteer Month? Here are some places to start!
- Community homeless shelters
- Centers for the developmentally challenged
- Retirement homes or hospice centers
- Animal shelters
- Environmental conservation organizations
- Local libraries
- Local schools
- Community races or sporting events
- Local newspapers
- Volunteer firefighting organizations
- Volunteer community patrol organizations
Of course, these are just a few of the many ways to get involved. Your local community will have its own needs and opportunities and now you know where to check!
This is the perfect time to think about how you can use your skills and interests to enrich your life and the lives of others.
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