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Old 01-12-2018, 09:31 AM
246 posts, read 226,907 times
Reputation: 838


I volunteer with my dog at elementary schools, colleges, libraries and Barnes and Noble. The children love reading to the dogs and are not judged by any mistakes they make.
My previous dog went to nursing homes and the VA Hospital to be petted by people waiting for appointments and those lonely in nursing homes.
This makes me feel good and the dog loves it. Just to see the expression on people's faces is worth it
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:12 AM
Location: Virginia
4,002 posts, read 2,057,579 times
Reputation: 11020
I work with the local animal welfare organization to take ferry animals that have been pulled from the county shelter to rescue groups. Sometimes I temporarily feed/house neighborhood cats before I take them to the county shelter when I know they will get pulled for a rescue as well, although it's tough due to lack of space in my house, and my cats as well.

As a Master Gardener, I do monthly plant clinics at the farmers markets,; have dug up old and planted new gardens around public buildings; work in a botanical garden in the nearest city and have led tours there during Garden Week; and participate in other educational venues like health fairs, senior seminars, the agricultural fair, senior seminars, etc. I really enjoy spreading the knowledge and love of gardening to others.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:24 AM
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,421 posts, read 9,173,490 times
Reputation: 13159
One day a week I volunteer at a private social services organization doing showers and clothing- funded by a number of local churches. About to start at Catholic Charities doing office work. On the county Commission on Ageing as a commissioner-that's a once a month meeting. I might do a day a week at the Senior Center.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:30 AM
Location: Prescott AZ
6,138 posts, read 9,111,221 times
Reputation: 11591
I volunteer with the Attorney Generals satellite office which is housed in the library. People come in with all sorts of fraud, identity theft, HOA, and even criminal problems and I listen to them, help them find a resource and help them fill out a report to send in to the AG's office in Phoenix. It's very rewarding and also eye-opening as to how many scams are happening to seniors.

I also just signed up to be a CASA (Court appointed special advocate) for foster kids who have been removed from abusive or neglectful homes, and are in the court system and need someone to look out for their interests. Again, a rewarding opportunity. Not just sharpening pencils or copying, as some jobs are.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:36 AM
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,135 posts, read 17,186,410 times
Reputation: 9982
I use to do Red Cross Disaster Services, before I got transferred for my job, I joined the local Red Cross when I moved, But we were not a good fit. They were more into helping the first respondents, then the disaster (Victims) Clients. The chapter was "broke" they did not follow the National Red Cross assistance charts.

On My Second Call out, I had to pull "Rank" (I'm a 2nd level Red Cross Supervisor), The "Lead" for the call was a 1st level Supervisor. They wanted to give a family who trailer was totally destroyed a "Partial" damage assistance. I would not do it.

I had a feeling something like this would happen when I went to my first meeting, and they gave the annual report, and they gave something like $1100 in aid in the last year. I had more aid in once case at my old RC chapter then they did all year.

One of the things I've found is some organizations don't value the volunteers time and effort. You show up, they have no plan, they give you busy work to do, or stand around waiting for them to figure out what they need you do.

Now I do Taxes as part of the AARP TaxAide program. Something I enjoy,
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:52 AM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,230 posts, read 1,366,335 times
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Wow, I had no idea of the variety of opportunities out there. I hope we can keep this thread going for awhile It will become a great resource for those looking for a way to help.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:58 AM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,796 posts, read 4,784,395 times
Reputation: 28542
Originally Posted by engineman View Post
When I lived in Arizona, I was a member of the local Sheriff's Posse. The primary function of that group was to be the eyes and ears of the Sheriff's Office. This was in a retirement community of 29,000 residents. It was rewarding when we were able to find and help someone, often a person living alone and help them, or get help for them in a distress situation. The Posse did not do traffic enforcement, that was the job of the paid Deputies.
Was that Sun City? I know MCSO has a Posse -- I'm thinking I would like to do that.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:14 AM
Location: Seattle
1,744 posts, read 3,204,418 times
Reputation: 4057
I volunteer at the visitor center at the airport. We give suggestions on restaurants and activities as well as general information on where to grab a cab or calling a hotel shuttle.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:47 PM
6,562 posts, read 3,115,530 times
Reputation: 6064
In the past I have done mentoring for "at risk" kids, interview training for women in jobs programs, tax prep at IRS VITA sites.

Currently, I am sticking with a food bank because they are very flexible both with regard to what I do and when/how long I show up. So, some days I just sort food. Some days I am more creative and package up a weeks worth of lunch or dinner for 2 or 4. We have very little room for fresh/refrigerated/frozen food so that can be challenging.

We get a lot of help from others doing food drives. The local University encourages their students to participate in the "Town Life", scouting groups, schools, private offices, etc. Sometimes I meet with these groups, explain how to make the drive most effective by spelling out preferred foods, sorting out undesirable/expired stuff, etc. If they also want to put in some hours at the food bank I train them on the basics. I coordinate publicity for the groups that help us.

I have done the "appeal for food" interviews with local press.

From time to time we get oddball things. Like a pizza place that wants to donate 20 pizza's. I noticed after a few months, that we had a regular cadre of donators(mostly retired men of means and some 80ish couples who like to bring stuff every week) so I asked them if they would like to be on a list we could call up for unusual stuff rather than the basics. Most of them agreed, so when the timing works out, I call them and ask for example if they will bring salad/dressing and soft drinks then coordinate the timing of the pizza so that we have a whole meal to give out. I also make sure the pizza place gets publicity for their community spirit.

We also get involved in offshoots......like one group from the university wanted to stuff stockings for kids for Christmas, one group wanted to do a toy drive. Last year we did a drive for pet food and people were thrilled to get it, so we will probably do that again.

The food bank is connected to a center which also has a thrift store and homeless shelter so there are opportunities there as well. The thrift store collected backpacks for kids. I wasn't involved in the collection process, but I spent a few hours helping to hand them out to kids.

There's enough variety to keep it from being boring and a pretty endless number of ways to make it more interesting. It also helps that the people I've met there are all very nice and also very amenable to virtually any way people want to help.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:26 PM
6,353 posts, read 5,177,403 times
Reputation: 8529
I am on a nonprofit board. I also have a for-profit, post-retirement business, and the two are related (building and maintaining contacts etc.).
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