8 Ways To Volunteer In Your Golden Years

Edited by Rory Clark

In retirement, volunteering not only benefits the world but also benefits the retiree. As a senior citizen volunteer, becoming active will help you improve your mental and physical health and help you remain involved in your community. It enables you to keep social and gives you a strong sense of purpose. 

Volunteer by Acting Globally

One of the best aspects of retirement is doing what you love; you have more time on your hands. If traveling is one of the things you enjoy, consider combining the passion with some voluntary work! Volunteer Forever gives seniors and service-learning organizations volunteer opportunities overseas or right here in the U.S.

Volunteer and Be a Foster Grandparent

There are endless opportunities to help children, from tutoring to organizing toy drives to coaching a youth sports team. One that suits exceptionally well for retirement volunteering is the foster grandparent program of Senior Corps, which pairs adults over 55 for mentorship with children in need in their communities.

National Park Volunteer

At National Parks, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities for seniors for those who live near one. If you have little time for a longer-term role to give or serve, you should volunteer at one-time events. For visual artists, poets, singers, and more, the National Park Service also provides an Artist-in-Residence program. Plus, a free volunteer pass gives you 250 service hours!

Help Out Your Local Library

Libraries are usually underfunded and are looking for volunteers to help, which is a perfect volunteer opportunity for retired seniors, especially retired teachers. As you express your passion for books, reading, writing, and language, work as a greeter or genealogy clerk, or teach English as a second language.

Run or Walk for a Good Cause

Three of the biggest charity walks/races are Relay for Life, Light the Night, and Race for the Cure, and these and others happen in nearly every city across the nation. And they not only help the charity but keep the body going, which is always an advantage for seniors!

Walk a Four-Legged Friend

The Human Society and the MSPCA have sites across the country, and in your neighborhood, you can find local shelters. Senior citizens volunteers are needed for animal care and training and administrative work, animal rights advocacy, and more.

Assist our Older Americans

Enacted in 1965, the Older Americans Act serves more than 10 million people per year, including meal delivery, transportation services, counseling, and more. Even if you have little time to help, the program offers retirees volunteer opportunities to help other more senior people in their neighborhood.

Provide a Hot Meal

On any given night, over 500,000 individuals in America experience homelessness, 12 percent of whom are veterans. And all year round, these folks need support, not just on holidays. By serving a hot meal and a piece of humanity once a month or once a week at a local homeless shelter, senior volunteers will donate their time. Or support to gather the food they need by working or coordinating a food drive at a food pantry. Visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness to access support.

Find a new purpose⁠ when you retire. You don’t just leave a job. You enter a new stage in your life. Long-term, this can help both your mind and body.⁠ Contact us for guidance at

About the author

Rory Clark

Rory has more than 30 years’ experience practicing elder law, estate planning, asset protection, Veteran’s affairs, and special needs planning. Through his personal journey, Rory not only understands the complex legal issues involved as a professional but also the intense emotional issues as a caregiver.