Probably one of the best parts of your plan will be volunteering for various organisations. Even while I was running my business I always set aside some time to volunteer for different events.
I found it gave me a sense of purpose outside the business and this is also true for retirement. You meet lots of different people and provides a different sense of worth.
As I mentioned before my highlight was the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia. My second one is volunteering with RedFrogs for the past 20 years where we help young people at schoolies and their voyage through University, festivals and sports.
Benefits of volunteering
1. Volunteering makes you feel less time-poor
Studies have found that volunteering time makes people feel less time-poor than wasting time, spending it on themselves, or even having more free time. So if you volunteer your time, you’ll feel like you have more of it!
2. Volunteering is good for your health
Research has also shown that volunteering leads to better health. Volunteers have greater functional ability and lower mortality rates, as well as lower rates of depression later in life than those who don’t volunteer.
Volunteering can combat depression by creating a solid support system and providing a sense of purpose. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities!
“US based The National Institute on Aging has reported that participating in social leisure activities and meaningful activities such as volunteering may lower the risk of health problems in seniors, including dementia.”
3. Volunteering makes you happier
Researchers at the London School of Economics discovered that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Part of the reason for this is that volunteering serves to build empathy, strengthen your social bonds and make you smile, and these factors also increase the feeling of love.
There are a number of different organizations that can help you find a great volunteering platform both locally and overseas.
Volunteering doesn’t take any special skills or extensive experience – and there’s never a shortage of organizations looking for help.
Once you begin your volunteer position, don’t hesitate to offer help outside of your assigned job. When I started volunteering at RedFrogs, I noticed a need for a website, so I offered to build one.
I got great satisfaction helping a good cause free of charge, and educated myself at the same time. Our society would not be as strong as it is without folks willing to help those in need. Get started and volunteer today.
There are usually a number of Govt dept that can also send you in the right direction. Below are some of the ones I found with a quick search
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Deciding where or how to volunteer is a very personal thing and will come down to your individual interests and skills, but here are a few interesting volunteer opportunities to get you thinking.
- Australian Business Volunteers (ABV)
If you’re a retired business person, why not combine the opportunity to use your skills and expertise with some interesting travel?
Through Australian Business Volunteers you can help businesses in developing countries in the Pacific and south-east Asia. Your food and accommodation along with a small allowance are generally included, so it’s an affordable and interesting way to travel and contribute to communities who need help.
- Teaching English to adult migrants
If you have teaching skills but are no longer working, or you’re simply interested in helping refugees and migrants to settle in Australia, teaching English can be very fulfilling. You don’t need to be able to speak another language, and support and training are provided.
http://www.navitas-english.com.au/ and click on volunteer
- Earthwatch expeditions
If you’re interested in science, the environment and travel, then a volunteer opportunity with Earthwatch may be just the thing for you. It offers the incredible opportunity to work with scientific experts, travel overseas and promote sustainable living.
- Other volunteer organisations
GoVolunteer will help you match your talents and needs to volunteering tasks in your region. https://govolunteer.com.au/
Or if volunteering in rural and remote areas appeals to you, check:
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Indigenous Community Volunteers
Regional Development programs
And don’t forget to investigate options with other respected charities and non-profit organisations, such as:
The Red Cross
Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, help you stay busy and active, and keep you mentally stimulated and engaged.
Check out these 10 nonprofits for excellent volunteer opportunities that require no previous experience.
- Animal Rescue Shelters
Local animal shelters almost always need volunteers. Brush up your office skills by answering emails, fielding phone calls, and providing general administrative assistance.
Try making some connections among the staff or offering your dog walking services to the pet owners-to-be who pass through. It makes for a great part-time job, and could even turn into a full-time venture. Perks such as staying active and having the happiest clients in the world are hard to beat.
- National Parks
Volunteering at a national park means more than just cleaning up litter. If you’re a history buff or a naturalist, you can explore opportunities to volunteer at fascinating historical sites maintained by various services. It would be a permanent talking point to break out at parties, and might open the door to further opportunities.
- Food Pantries
Food pantries and soup kitchens can always use a helping hand organizing a local food drive, raising money, or simply handing out hot meals to those in need. Offer any specific skills you may have or even cooking, and you can be of great value to these organizations. I have worked in a few soup kitchens over the years and found it very rewarding.
- Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity offers various locally targeted volunteer opportunities. If you have – or want to develop – experience in home repair and building maintenance, check out its A Brush With Kindness campaign or the Women Build program, designed specifically to help women learn construction skills.
Your experience can contribute directly to team-building and leadership ability – plus, you might eventually find yourself able to remodel your own home, saving a bundle there as well.
- Local Libraries
When I was a teenager, I volunteered at my local library for a few hours a week for a school project. I liked it so much that I ended up volunteering every week and developed a life-long love of books, as well as an appreciation for learning and reading.
Libraries typically need help organizing shelves and assisting patrons, and you may also be of help setting up and running public events, such as author signings and book fairs. Ask your local library if you can help design flyers or copy edit ads, and put that experience on your resume.
- Art Museums
If you’re artistically inclined, working in a museum can be an invaluable experience. You can surround yourself with timeless works of art, soak up knowledge, and acquire administrative skills all at the same time.
Get involved in the community by volunteering for family programs and children’s activities at your local museum, and once you build up your knowledge base, you may qualify to be a tour guide or event planner.
Of course it’s much broader than just museums
- Political Campaigns
If you’re passionate about politics, consider lending your support to a local candidate you feel good about. No politician gets elected without volunteers manning the phones, distributing fliers, raising money, and answering emails.
This kind of work can provide you with valuable experience on many levels and can be applied to a host of different industries. It can also help you establish a network of contacts you can draw on if you have, or are interested in, a political career.
At the YMCA, you can volunteer to help both children and adults, strengthen your leadership skills by coaching a sports team, or pick up some valuable teaching experience by tutoring literacy courses.
Check your local YMCA’s website, or simply walk in and introduce yourself to find out if there are any positions they need filled, or any one-time activities you may can assist with to help get your foot in the door.
- Retirement Homes
Retirees love an exciting new lecture to attend or class to teach them something fun and interesting, so be creative and develop a program that shows off your skills.
Are you good at public speaking, or do you want to get better at it? Ask to recite some famous historical speeches, or to moderate a poetry reading.
If you’re good with computers, lend your services and teach senior citizens how to perform basic or intermediate computer tasks. Chances are, they want to learn, but no one has ever taken the time to give them the proper instruction.
I did this at the Nerang Liberty Centre where I ran a Get To Know Your Tablet workshop for 8 weeks. We had such a great time.
- Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross offers an extensive list of positions that can help those in need and bolster your resume at the same time. If you don’t feel like giving blood, why not greet and assist customers looking to do so?
Your skills may make you a good fit for grant writing, performing clerical tasks, or managing other volunteers. If you’ve got the drive, you can draw on any number of talents to help the Red Cross – who would turn down free labor from a passionate volunteer?
This site has a whole lot of amazing jobs and is a great jumping off place for any volunteer.
Naturally when you start writing a book or undertaking any project things you never noticed pop up in front of you.
The other day I was flying home and was approached by an elderly gentleman offering to help with my luggage etc. On further investigation I found the AVGeeks.
For the AvGeeks, any opportunity that could bring them closer to airplanes is definitely worth considering. One way to do this is by volunteering at your local airport.
Many commercially-serviced airports offer some kind of volunteer program. Whether it is being an information desk worker or a mobile airport ambassador, there is something for almost every AvGeek to grow their passion for the industry.
Giving up your time and the benefit of your knowledge and experience need not mean leaving home.
If you have access to a computer, you can volunteer by translating documents, offering consulting advice or developing designs. You can home in on an area of interest such as health, education or environment to name just a few.
Look in resources for more suggestions and websites you can visit for great opportunities.