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Five volunteer opportunities for retirees

Those who volunteered previous to retirement probably have a solid understanding of what opportunities they enjoy, and what roles suit their personality and lifestyle.
Make use of your work skills by volunteering.
Make use of your work skills by volunteering.

Those who volunteered previous to retirement probably have a solid understanding of what opportunities they enjoy, and what roles suit their personality and lifestyle. For retirees who have not ventured into volunteerism, the transition can be more difficult. Not every volunteer role will be perfect fit and it may take some trial and error before you find an organization or initiative you are truly passionate about. The Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations has put together a list of the top five volunteer opportunities for retirees to help you make the best choice for your skills, interests and life.

Teaching: Passing your knowledge onto others is an exceptional way to give. If you loved your professional career and miss flexing your skills, teaching is an excellent way to put them to use. For retired teachers, tutoring children, teaching English Second Language Classes or technology classes is a rewarding experience. Check out the Alberta Retired Teachers' Association for volunteer opportunities.

Environmental: If you're the outdoorsy type, enjoy gardening, or feel the need to get outside more often, environmental volunteering is an excellent fit. Many volunteer operations include habitat restoration, tree planting and environmental maintenance, so you will spend your volunteer hours breathing the fresh air, getting some exercise exploring Edmonton's landscape.

Trades: Organizations like Habitat for Humanity seek do-it-yourselfers, fixer-uppers and retired tradespeople to aid in construction. There is also a range of construction project abroad if you are thinking about mixing volunteerism and travel.

Driving: Those who cannot drive due to a disability or illness can become isolated and miss important appointments and events because of their immobility. A few hours a week spent giving these individuals a lift will boost their social and physical wellbeing. There are many organizations that welcome volunteer drivers like Care for a Ride and Drive Happiness.

Animal Care: Now that you've retired, you probably spend more time at home than you used to (if you're not currently travelling the world). If you've found yourself wanting companionship, consider fostering an animal. Provide a loving space for an animal before they find their forever home.

Habitat for Humanity urgently needs more volunteers from July 1-8 for the Carter Work Project at the Fort Saskatchewan site. Volunteers will help set up the historic event. To register visit www.hfh.org/volunteer and you can sign up for shift. Or call 780-451-3416.

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society currently needs Cat Caregivers. Email the Volunteer Manager at volunteer@aarcs.ca

The Centre for Family Literacy has volunteer opportunities for Adult Tutors and Family Literacy Program Assistants – great for retired teachers. Call 780-421-7323 or email volunteer_coordinator@famlit.ca

Drive Happiness is always in need of volunteer drivers. The organization provides training and drivers can choose their schedule. Call 780-424-5438