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April 14, 2015

Top 3 reasons to volunteer during retirement

Retirement is often viewed as a haven. A time worth working toward. The vision of retirement often includes sand and sun, a cool breeze, and refreshing beverages. Retirement offers newfound time to spend  with loved ones, a good book in hand, and relaxing.

While all of these activities provide the much needed comfort and relaxation promised in retirement, after the “honeymoon phase” tapers off, retirees may find a void. Something missing that was once filled by the duties of a career.

One great option to fill this gap of time and productivity is to apply one’s unique skills and knowledge to further a worthwhile cause. Here are three reasons to consider volunteering during retirement:

1. Volunteerism enhances personal health.

Physical, emotional, and psychological health are all positively affected by staying active.

2. Volunteerism connects you to others.

Volunteering provides a way to make new friends with shared interests and can provide connections to the broader community and neighborhood.

3. Volunteerism magnifies the health of your community.

Volunteering in health, education, environmental, or any other fields in which you may take an interest, all have positive effects on the community. For example, The Senior Source is a nonprofit organization that serves adults aged 55 and over. Their Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) connects individuals in the local community to volunteer opportunities.

The Senior Source and RSVP have worked with Reading Partners in Dallas since its regional launch in 2012, and have referred dozens of volunteers that have become reading partners and provided tutoring services to students in local elementary schools.Senior Source volunteers have contributed 689 volunteer hours to Reading Partners over the past few years. Melissa Boyd, a returning Senior Source volunteer with Reading Partners says, “I have seen improvement in [my student’s] reading level and his confidence level. He has been able to increase his ability to take tests and do much better than he did six months ago….[this experience has been] rewarding and exciting, [my student] is always excited when we come.”

Want to put your life experience to work?

Get started and make an impact in the Dallas community by contacting Louise Watkins at The Senior Source: lwatkins@theseniorsource.org or (214) 525-6165.

To find other volunteer opportunities with Reading Partners and to sign up, visit readingpartners.org/volunteer. If you are interested in other senior volunteer opportunities check with your local RSVP chapter.

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