8 Causes for Aging Adults to Get Involved In (Inspired by our Communities)

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With extra time to dedicate in post-retirement and life experience to impart, aging adults have tremendous value to offer others who are in need. And as it turns out, there are many opportunities for seniors to volunteer.

For #NationalVolunteerWeek this week, there’s no better time to get started. Here are some opportunities of causes that adults and seniors can get involved in.  

 

Animals

Service dog, Honey, offering comfort to Embrace Living Communities residents in Rockford, IL.

Whether volunteering to raising awareness for issues that affect animals or donations to help solve them, volunteering for this particular cause can be a fun way for animal lovers to make a difference. Alternately, aging adults who already own a pet can consider registering them to be a therapy animal that brings comfort to others.

 

Hunger

Greencastle of Sterling (Sterling, IL) residents inspecting a food pantry delivery.

Hunger is a crucial problem that affects humanity, worldwide, but in the United States seniors are among the most vulnerable groups at risk of food insecurity. Working at a food pantry or simply cooking for a neighbor is a simple way for aging adults to start combating prevalent issue of hunger in their own communities.

 

Children

Greencastle of Mulford (Rockford, IL) residents helping children with autism with crafts.

Through school activities or recreational groups like Boy/Girl Scouts of America, there are many programs that give young people the chance to work with adults and seniors; however, there are plenty of ways for older adults to give back to children and youth.  There are various opportunities with all ages, ranging from preschool to adolescence, with activities like reading to mentoring.

 

Political Campaigns

Greencastle of Loves Park (Rockford, IL) resident, Audrey Johnson, after being reelected to her board seat as Commissioner of the Forest Preserve.

From social security benefits, to food assistance programs, or affordable housing, there are many different political issues that affect aging adults, and there are many opportunities to advocate for the causes that matter to them. People can show their activism through organized demonstrations, lobbying and/or campaigning on behalf of a political candidate whose policies align with theirs.

 

Veterans

Veterans at the “Christmas for Vets” holiday program, hosted at Greencastle of Rockford (Rockford, IL).

Many veterans also happen to be seniors, which makes it all the more fitting for them to dedicate their efforts to this group. There are many programs to help with this community: check the available governmental programs, nonprofit organizations, or smaller local groups within your own neighborhoods that help this growing population in need.

 

Environmentalism

Greencastle of Rockford (Rockford, IL) residents during a community “Spring Clean” project.

Aging adults can get closer to nature in a relaxing way, while also giving back to the environment. Taking care of the planet can seem like a huge task, but there are little things that can be done – both, individually and in groups – to make a difference each day. From gardening groups, to cleaning up trails, there are many opportunities to join in on efforts to make the world a cleaner, healthier place for humanity.

 

Homelessness

Greencastle of Mulford (Rockford, IL) residents knitting.

Working with the homeless is a wonderful way for people to give back. By knitting blankets or scarves during the cold winter months, or cooking hearty meals, aging adults can use their own skills to make a difference in the lives of others. Not only do those in need benefit from these acts of service but also volunteers get the benefit of feeling purposeful.

 

These are just a few examples of the types of causes seniors can get involved in around their communities.

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