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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Social Goals and Volunteering After Retirement

         There is quite a bit of evidence that older workers were more respected for our knowledge before the industrial revolution. In those days senior farmers’ experiences counted for something.  Now, with the rapid development of technology, especially computers, the average teenager seems to be leaping ahead with their Twitters, Cell Phones, and Facebook while at work we older workers are “facing” stereotypes such as low motivation, resistance to change, inflexibility, lack of creativity, and no interest in learning new skills.  Under these circumstances retirement, at least initially, may be a real relief. But we will still have to deal with certain stereotypes that, in the extreme, may lead us to feel that other people don’t need us.  And, when we die, we won’t even be remembered. 
         So during retirement we need to establish a new set of social evaluation criteria. Do we feel that we have a responsibility to improve our neighborhood?  What can we do for society after years of work experience?  What kinds of unique experiences can we share with the wider community? Do we have experiences volunteering? How can we help make things better?
         Much of our success in postretirement volunteering is connected with how we see ourselves and what we feel we can contribute
There are many opportunities listed on the Internet for. The following items are an example:

 Some Examples of how to help our community

• Volunteer at a seniors’ home/centre – visit, read, play cards or board games, take seniors for walks, make crafts.
• Help organize local community events – food drives/banks.
• Take part in environmental initiatives – cleaning and recycling                              operations, park cleanup, planting trees and flower beds.
• Get involved in charitable activities – walk-a-thons, daffodil sales,          canvassing for organizations.
• Assist with sports teams – community leagues, parks and recreation          programs.
• Volunteer in a leadership role with community groups.
• Volunteer in hospitals, libraries, or any organization recommended by  Volunteer Centers.
• Volunteer with social service or animal welfare agencies – Red Cross, United Way, Humane Society.
• Get involved in the democratic political process – scrutinizing,          canvassing, campaigning.
• Offer service through religious communities or places of worship.
• Assist with literacy initiatives – at local libraries, daycare centres,          community centres.

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