Staying Involved at Any Age
“Community helps oneself from growing old inside.” – R.M. Brown
Have you been looking for an opportunity to stay active? How about a way that also allows you to become more involved in your community and make meaningful connections with others? There are many ways you can stay involved at any age.
Let’s look at 8 suggestions that might work for you or help trigger some other avenues.
- Call local preschools and elementary schools to offer your time to read or be an extra helper in the classroom. The energy of the children is invigorating and you can easily make a difference. Plus, I’m sure the teacher won’t turn down some extra help.
- If you’re an animal lover at heart, ask the local animal shelter or an animal hospital if there’s any way you can donate your time. Often, socializing or cuddling the animals is just as helpful as the other everyday tasks the workers have to complete.
- Check with hospitals in your area for items that are needed in the pediatric or newborn wings. If you love to sew, knit, or crochet…blankets, hats, booties, etc. are popular choices. Items can also be raised and collected if you’re more thumbs than nimble fingers. And again, some hospitals will happily accept volunteers to cuddle newborns or read to children.
- Greenhouses, community gardens, or arboretums can always use helping hands. Whether watering; planting seeds, flowers, or vegetables; or picking flowers and harvesting the fruits/vegetables, there are ample opportunities for you.
- Start a blog or record your story. You have a lifetime of knowledge and experiences that people would love to enjoy and can benefit from. You can focus on one area (your career, your family, your travels) or a hobby you have mastered. Chronicling your journey allows you a way to reminisce. Or a collection of tips and tricks you’ve learned about a craft can be an invaluable piece of knowledge for less experienced individuals.
- Scrapbooking, drawing, painting, learning an instrument, etc. It’s never too late to pick up a new skill, and you might realize a new creative outlet. Scrapbooks or other art projects make wonderful gifts for family and friends that can be cherished forever. If you’re adventurous enough to learn a new instrument, the dexterity and focus needed will help keep you sharp and nimble. Plus, you can share the music with those around you.
- Master some recipes in the kitchen. The internet is a wonderfully helpful tool to find new and easy food ideas: check out blogs, Pinterest, or just do some google searches. There are also tons of no-cook options, if you’re trying to spend time away from your stove. Or you might have some tried favorites. The best part is that delicious food is meant to be shared. Bring some to neighbors, friends, and family members. Tuck in the recipe, too.
- Check for nonprofits or organizations in the area that align with something you care strongly about. If you’re interested in politics, volunteer your time at a polling place or for a specific candidate. Passionate about the environment? Depending on your mobility, you can join a club that helps keep trails well-maintained (you can help find volunteers to do the actual heavy lifting). You might consider a library, museum, or theater organization. Your experience, skillset, and interest can make you an invaluable asset to any area you choose.
Staying involved and active in your community can be a huge way to feel connected. The most important thing is to find something you’re passionate about. Sharing your interests and talents with others, old and new, can help keep you feeling young and healthy…at any age. The impact on others will be beneficial, too.
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