Retirement is a time to do things on your time because you want to, not because you have to. Volunteering is a good way to stay active and connect with people in your community. However, sometimes the commitment required to volunteer can become burdensome and feel like a job. Below are five volunteer opportunities that you may enjoy and likely won’t overwhelm you with obligation.


  1. Usher at a performing arts theater. If you can help ticket holders find their seats and answer simple questions like “Where is the restroom?” this may be a good fit for you. In return for your time, you get to watch performances at no charge and have the opportunity to interact with people.
  2. Ambassador at a museum or sports facility. The primary skills you will need to serve as an ambassador is a friendly presence and a desire to help people have a good time. It will help if you have a good working knowledge of the venue in order to help people find their way around. Benefits often include free admission to events.
  3. Community garden worker. A lot of communities have started up gardens in recent years as a means to help bring people together and help provide food for the less fortunate. Many need volunteers to help water plants, pull weeds and harvest the produce.
  4. Charity thrift store assistant. If light-duty work with your hands is more up your alley, a few hours a month helping sort and price second-hand merchandise at a local thrift store may be a good way to give back.
  5. Assistant at extracurricular events. With so much emphasis for kids to be involved in sports and other cultural activities, these days there is often a need for volunteers to help out at events. For giving up a few hours of your weekend to set up chairs or run a stopwatch, you get the joy of seeing the younger generation pour energy into their passions. If they’re your relatives, all the better.


Ready to volunteer, but not sure how to get started? Search the bulletin boards or websites of charities in your local area for volunteer opportunities or try out a volunteer database such as volunteermatch.org. Your contributions of time and service may seem small to you but have the potential to make a big difference to those who receive the benefits.




Let’s hear from you: What other volunteer opportunities have you considered?