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Old 01-13-2018, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeth
425 posts, read 388,445 times
Reputation: 745

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We have a beautiful park, Ft. Williams, in Cape Elizabeth, Me with a lighthouse that is a major tourist attraction (Portland Head Light). I volunteer at the park, spring through fall, tending to plots near the lighthouse and in the children's garden. Weed and prune and talk to tourists.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:10 AM
 
5,820 posts, read 5,192,889 times
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I read newspapers out loud for the blind at the studio of my local National Public Radio station.

I also scoop cat poop and wash litter boxes then put out food and water for the kitties (and pet them) at my local humane society.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,030 posts, read 36,268,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemycat View Post
We have a beautiful park, Ft. Williams, in Cape Elizabeth, Me with a lighthouse that is a major tourist attraction (Portland Head Light). I volunteer at the park, spring through fall, tending to plots near the lighthouse and in the children's garden. Weed and prune and talk to tourists.
I might have seen you there about a year ago when we visited! I love that park and that lighthouse! We were amazed by it - it's beautiful.

This is my view of Portland as we were leaving. Sob. I really like that area.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
3,459 posts, read 2,257,979 times
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I enjoy volunteering -- kind of like paying it forward -- and feel it's the least I can do since I thoroughly enjoy the rest of my self-indulgent retirement.

I currently have two volunteering "jobs".

1. Every Sunday morning I "work" the dispatch desk for our 55+ community's security patrol. I take calls from the community about all kinds of things that are worrying the callers like open garage doors, solicitors, missing pets, suspicious vehicles, concern for a neighbor, flashing emergency lights, etc. I either refer them to the local 311 (non-emergency service), give them other needed information or dispatch one of our three patrol cars to the area. I also take in-person requests from residents who want us to check their houses while they're out of town. I do the necessary paper work to keep our house-checking service organized and call people who are returning from vacation to make sure we can stop checking their houses. And of course, "other duties as assigned"!

2. I serve on a board committee that manages the activities of our 59 clubs. We review and give approvals for the clubs' special events e.g. political candidate roundtables, Hanukah dinners, Lifelong Learning presentations, Pet fairs, Chinese New Year celebrations, African American Heritage seminars, Elder Care/Guardianship presentations. We also conduct two workshops a year for club officers and provide 1:1 support for club presidents and treasurers dealing with personnel or financial challenges.

These two activities keep me busy and challenged and I enjoy them both for different but equally fulfilling reasons.

Since I retired, I've also volunteered at libraries -- the first was an excellent experience and I did all kinds of things to help the staff and patrons. Unfortunately, this branch library was closed as the city underwent some serious cost cutting. I went to another branch, hoping to do the same kind of work and was never well-utilized so I resigned. Some managers just don't know how to manage volunteers and life is too short for me to do things as a volunteer that I don't enjoy.

I also spent a few years volunteering at the local hospital's foundation, helping with some behind the scenes research and donor relations. This was a continuation of my non-profit career and it felt good to apply my experience in such a productive way. I'd probably still be doing this but as they added staff, they ran out of space for me to work.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:27 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,904,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
Many of the threads here talk about volunteering as a way to feel useful, pass time, give back (hate that term), meet new people, etc. But I am curious about what people are actually doing at their volunteer gigs. What are the tasks you do? Are you cooking, serving meals, answering phones, sitting at a hospital visitor desk?

Sometimes I think about volunteering but don't want to feel like I am going to work. So please let us know what you do. It would help to know what kind of organization you volunteer at. Thanks.
I am with you on the "give back" phrase. If they gave to you first, they shouldn't need help. LOL

My husband goes to the American Legion once a week to help set up for bingo. I think he probably adds to their clientele because he is the finest southern gentleman and people enjoy being around him.

When I retired I promised myself that I would not get into a schedule where I had to be somewhere every week or day. My "volunteering" is spent being a friend to those around me. I listen, encourage, and go out to lunch with them. You don't have to be on a schedule to be kind to others. Sometimes schedules prevent you from doing what would be best.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:51 AM
 
Location: northern New England
2,477 posts, read 1,077,618 times
Reputation: 9655
I volunteer at a very busy food shelf and am a supervisor there. It is a unique opportunity in that, while we have a director, the volunteers run the food shelf and only occasionally ask for a decision to be made. We are encouraged to make decisions for ourselves. The director is busy with ordering etc.

I started this after my husband passed away and I was wondering what to do with my life. It saved my life. All the love and care I gave to my DH, now I send it out into the world. And some of the stories you hear will break your heart.

I always say it is the greatest "job" ever as you can give someone so much food and they are so grateful, and it didn't cost you a thing!! I would say 99.5% of my customers are very grateful and I even get hugs from some!! And my fellow volunteers are a great bunch as well.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:10 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,075 posts, read 9,543,766 times
Reputation: 5832
I've seen a few people who are concerned about being on a 'schedule' that would interfere with them enjoying their retirement.

When I started my volunteering (at that time at two different libraries) I immediately warned the volunteer coordinators that since we were retired we would be scheduling activities at short notice and potentially travelling for short and long trips. Both volunteer coordinators said, we'd be disappointed if you didn't! Please email us as soon as you know you'll miss a scheduled session or more, and please bring back lots of pics for us to enjoy.

Schedule rigidity can be negotiated.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:52 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,214 posts, read 1,354,565 times
Reputation: 6392
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
I am with you on the "give back" phrase. If they gave to you first, they shouldn't need help. LOL
Yes, that give back phrase really annoys me. The only people who directly helped me in life were my parents who paid for college. When they got old, I helped them. Other than that, I made my own way in life, So to whom would I be giving back?

One concept I do like is paying it forward.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,244,921 times
Reputation: 14611
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
I volunteer with a hospice organization.

When people are admitted to hospice and don't have any family/friends to visit them, I will go visit with them. I try to make them comfortable, pain-free, and if possible, create a little bit of happiness. I buy them a favorite, comfort thing that they need/want, or a favorite thing to eat. And I let them tell all the stories. And then I come back and follow them until they pass.

And if someone is suddenly dying and admitted to the hospital in hospice, and family is still out of town, I will go visit them so they are not alone. I hold their hand, I play their favorite music on my iPad, I tell them their family is coming.

It makes a difference. Not everyone can handle it though.
what a touching thing for someone to do -thanks for doing this
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Tucson Arizona
3,910 posts, read 1,663,706 times
Reputation: 10285
I like to volunteer doing what I enjoy. I've designed logos and tee shirts, donated artwork for raffles, taught crafts to kids, worked at the library, and helped set up and decorate for events.

Sometimes I even volunteer doing stuff I don't enjoy--cleaning public ponds, helping feed the homeless.
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