In difficult economic times, those people who are over that “certain age” who are retired or semi-retired may feel relief at just reaching a point where they are financially able to retire. However, some people leave their jobs and then find themselves bored and at loose ends. They’re used to having a place to go every day, and they miss the feeling of pride in having accomplished something important.
If you are a senior citizen who feels you have too much time on your hands — why not volunteer? All over California, there are exciting opportunities to give to your community and share your years of experience with others.
RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, is sponsored by the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance. Over 600 senior citizen volunteers are currently participating in this program, where they provide community assistance in a variety of ways. Seniors can work at radio and television stations, nature centers, food distribution centers, hospitals and libraries, among other locations. Businesses and service centers enroll with the program, and then RSVP matches each volunteer with his or her field of interest and line of expertise.
The California Highway Patrol employs senior volunteers in several capacities. CHP volunteers handle phones, file, set appointments, and participate in community outreach programs such as fingerprinting children at community centers, assisting at recruiting stations. They alsotake part in ChiPs for Kids. Seniors even work in vehicle maintenance by putting together emergency trauma kits, maintaining trailers, doing inventory and are even called upon to assist mechanics if that is where their skills lie.
The California Department of Fish and Game makes use of senior citizen volunteers in several areas, too. One of their largest volunteer programs is based in Orange County. The organization features an 80 hour training course in enforcement and conservation. The seniors may be asked to assist in wildlife nuisance complaints, public outreach, and monitoring state land. This program is open to anyone over the age of 50.
The Senior Corps in California is perhaps the most well known agency placing senior citizen volunteers in important tasks. The Senior Corps is part of the larger network called The Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corps allows seniors to participate in Foster Grandparenting, mentoring and tutoring, emergency response, and providing patrol units to assist local law enforcement.
Many active senior citizens have so much more to give. Now
that social agencies, law enforcement, and community service programs are facing more budget cuts than ever in our state, volunteers are needed more than ever. Why not think about contacting one of the above agencies, or your local law enforcement, hospital or library today and find out how you can be a bigger part of your community?