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Volunteering in Retirement: 4 Great Community-Building Options for Boomers

While many seek alternative careers after they’ve retired, volunteering, whether as a part-time venture or a full-time gig, is a popular choice among boomers. And with good reason. Having worked hard to support yourself and your family throughout your career, you finally have the time to lend a helping hand to others, giving you a sense of meaning that simply going on vacations or taking up hobbies can’t fulfill alone. Here are a few volunteer options for those of you who are interested in investing your time in public service.

1.Experience Corps Experience Corps is an organization composed of over 2,000 members over 55 in 20 cities across the United States. Its purpose is to tutor and mentor youth in urban communities by providing literacy coaching, homework help, and to serve as solid, attentive role models for kids who may not have such adults in their lives. For those of you who are interested in working with children, Experience Corps is a great way to do just that.

2.Senior Corps Created during Kennedy’s presidency, Senior Corp is a branch of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. Senior Corps runs three specific programs?the Foster Grandparent program, which enables volunteers to mentor children with special needs, the Senior Companion Program, which connects volunteers with adults in their communities who struggle with simple, day-to-day tasks, and RSVP, a program that takes each volunteers specific skills and matches them with organizations and projects that need their expertise.

3.Peace Corps While the Peace Corps requires more commitment than any of these programs, it’s also the one that is most adventurous. If you are in good physical health, the Peace Corps encourages older volunteers to apply. For two years, you’ll immerse yourself in an overseas community putting your skills to work in developing areas. Working alongside energetic youth fresh out of college, you’ll be learning a new language and become intimately acquainted with a different culture. To learn more about how the Peace Corps is now actively recruiting retired persons, check out this article.

4.SCORE If you were worked in the corporate world or owned a small business, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) might be the best volunteer option for you. The success of small businesses in America often depends on good leadership, and as a volunteer you’ll be assisting local businesses that need mentoring and support, using your previous experience in business as guidance. Volunteering with SCORE is a great way to contribute to the rebuilding of our nation’s economy, one small business at a time.

These are just a few ways that you can volunteer your time and expertise after retirement. Just because you are no longer in the working world doesn’t mean you can’t have a wider impact. Volunteering may be one of the most rewarding endeavors you’ll ever experience. For more volunteer opportunities, Idealist.org is a great website that offers a comprehensive volunteer database.

By-line: This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of best online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katewillson2@gmail.com.