I was recently asked to add a link to our Amazing Care Network website letting folks know of volunteer activities available to us seniors. One such resource is AmeriCorps. You can learn more about this government-sponsored organization by visiting the website: https://americorps.gov/about/what-we-do
Yet another organization that matches volunteers with available opportunities is a non profit organization called Volunteer Match whose website is: https://volunteermatch.org/
One of the “gifts” that I received from Covid is the opportunity to volunteer as a mentor to a young person for an organization called Eldera (website: https://eldera.ai/. Since Covid, I meet virtually nearly every Friday with a young student from Korea. Yuri is now 9 years old and coping with the challenges of learning virtually for about two years, and now returning to in-person instruction. She calls me, “Teacher”, and I try hard to act the part, by listening to her read to me in English and working on math problems. Mostly, she likes to tell me about her day, her friends at school, and how she’s going to beat me (again!) in tic-tac-toe. I don’t know about Yuri, but I get so much from this experience, at it gives me an opportunity to experience life through her eyes.
I volunteer for other activities, too, but I must say, none is as personally satisfying as time spent with Yuri. Chairing a non-profit board rarely taxes my emotional energy, though I recognize there’s value in that work. . . which brings me to the point of all this: Volunteering is good for the soul! The quote below from psychiatrist Nina Vasan states this more eloquently: “Volunteering and giving back helps you find a sense of purpose. By identifying a cause you care about and giving your time to that, you get connected to something beyond yourself, and that can increase your sense of happiness.
I suspect I’m preaching to the choir as many of you already volunteer and give your time, energy and treasure to what matters to you. Good for you, and keep on going!