How Helping Others Helps You

If you’re retired or nearing retirement, you might be looking for something to do with your spare time. Have you thought about volunteering? It’s a great way to keep your mental and physical well-being in tip-top shape. Mayo Clinic1 shares a few other benefits of volunteering:

  • Reduces stress
  • Increases your sense of meaning and purpose
  • Helps build your support system

Below are some tips on finding the right volunteer position and where to get started. Let’s dive in:

Brainstorm volunteer opportunities

The first step is determining what cause or organization fits your interests or passion. Here’s a quick questionnaire to help you get started on narrowing down your options:

  • Are you a foodie? You might enjoy delivering meals to seniors, volunteering at a food pantry, or spending time in a community garden or kitchen.
  • Do you love spending time with kids? Tutoring, mentoring or coaching could all be great options for you.
  • Passionate about healthcare? Your local hospital might need volunteers. You could volunteer at local health fairs or veteran’s organizations, too.
  • Enjoy four-legged friends? Spending time at an animal shelter or fostering a pet could be an enriching experience.
  • Want to help others get inspired for Election Day? You could teach a citizenship class, join a get-out-the-vote campaign or volunteer for a political organization or cause.

Keep these volunteering pointers in mind

Now that you have an idea of an area you’d like to explore, Forbes2 shared a few tips on what to keep in mind before signing up.

For starters, be strategic about what the volunteer organization can offer you. For example, maybe you’re looking for an opportunity that could turn into a part-time job or you want to increase your connection to your community. Once you narrow down what you’re looking for, that will help you determine which organization is best for you.

Second, look for places that let you interview before you commit. That way, you can see if you’re a good fit for the organization. You could ask:

  • What are you looking for in a volunteer?
  • What are the biggest challenges of this position?
  • How would you describe a typical day as a volunteer?

Finally, be realistic about how much time you have available. And don’t forget to factor in the commute time, too. You could also consider committing to a short-term project first to see if you find the work fulfilling.

Resources to help you find the right fit

With the websites listed below, you can filter assignments based on your location, what you’re interested in and time commitment.

  • This is the largest and most popular volunteer recruiting platform:
  • Not only does it feature countless volunteer opportunities (more than 100,000), but this site also posts jobs, too:
  • This is a way to donate your time and talent to non-profits that need your expertise in helping their organization run more smoothly. You can do an hour-long phone call with an organization or sign-up to do a project they need help with:
  • Whether it’s a small business or non-profit, you can search for organizations that need your professional assistance — ranging from financial analysis to marketing needs:

Volunteering is a terrific way to connect to the community, give back and improve your overall health. Give it a try!


  1. “Helping People, Changing Lives: 3 Health Benefits of Volunteering,” Mayo Clinic Health System, last accessed August 26, 2022,
  2. “How to Find the Ideal Place to Volunteer,” Forbes, last accessed August 26, 2022,
  3., last accessed August 26, 2022,
  4., last accessed August 26, 2022,
  5., last accessed August 26, 2022,
  6., last accessed August 26, 2022,