10 Volunteer Opportunities For Senior Citizens (And Where To Find More)
Table of Contents
- 1. Rotary International
- 2. Lions Clubs International Foundation
- 3. Kiwanis International
- 4. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)
- 5. Boys and Girls Club of America
- 6. Peace Corps
- 7. Children’s Hunger Fund
- 8. Senior Corps
- 9. Meals On Wheels
- 10. Direct Relief
- Where To Find More Volunteer Opportunities Near You
Whether you’re a lifelong volunteer, a serial volunteer coming back to volunteering, or your volunteerism has been triggered by retirement, finding the best place to spend your time can be rather daunting.
You’re ready to help, be a part of a team, and dedicate yourself to a cause, but you also want to enjoy yourself, find a good fit that aligns with you and your interests and make sure the nonprofit you’re joining is trustworthy.
To make your research a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of well-regarded nonprofits that offer wonderful senior volunteer opportunities throughout the United States. And if none of these organizations are what you’re looking for, we’ve also provided great resources to conduct your own research at the end of this article.
1. Rotary International
Charity Navigator Score: 100 out of 100
- Promoting peace
- Fighting disease
- Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
- Saving mothers and children
- Supporting education
- Growing local economies
The Rotary Club is an international organization that has a network of over 35,000 clubs which means you’re bound to find one in your local community. Rotary International aims to take on some of the world’s most important issues from fighting illiteracy and poverty to promoting clean water and sanitation while their individual chapters also tackle local issues.
Rotary Club members (aka Rotarians) attend regular meetings with their local clubs and are asked to put their professional skills and talents to use by helping with the strategy and execution of chapter projects.
2. Lions Clubs International Foundation
Charity Navigator Score: 90.17 out of 100
- Reduce the prevalence of diabetes
- Prevent avoidable blindness
- Ensure all community members have access to nutritious foods
- Sustainably protect and restore our environment
- Help those affected by childhood cancer
Similar to the Rotary Club, Lions Club is a global network of volunteers that work together to solve global issues. The organization has a network of over 48,000 clubs and allows volunteers to learn about community service. It focuses on solving five problems which include, diabetes, hunger, childhood cancer, vision, and the environment.
Lions Club members (aka Leos) fundraise for their international causes as well as strategize and execute plans to help their local communities.
3. Kiwanis International
Charity Navigator Score: 90.54 out of 100
- Improving the lives of children one community at a time
Kiwanis International focuses solely on serving children with particular attention to fighting hunger, improving literacy, and offering guidance. The organization believes that every child should have access to resources and an equal opportunity to thrive.
Kiwanis volunteers (aka Kiwanians) host nearly 150,000 service projects a year, from building playgrounds to mentoring teens and sponsoring youth sports.
Learn more about Kiwanis and volunteer with them.
4. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)
Charity Navigator Score: 100 out of 100
- Provide access to health care and enable family-centered care
RMHC keeps families with sick children together and near the medical care they need. They can fund the child’s hospital bill, ensure that the family has proper housing near the hospital where the child is being treated, or make sure that children in an underserved community get access to proper medical and dental care.
Volunteers often make a difference by cooking, hosting, listening, nurturing, or simply being there and helping out in any way they can.
5. Boys and Girls Club of America
Charity Navigator Score: N/A
- Promote education in children
- Reduce children’s exposure to drugs and violence by engaging them in after-school activities
The Boys and Girls Club of America has an extensive network of clubs around the U.S. that help promote education and ensure boys and girls stay on the right track. The after-school program ensures that kids stay safe and focus on studies rather than loiter on the streets and get in trouble. You’ll have the chance to teach and mentor kids helping impact their lives through proper guidance. The clubs also offer various extracurricular activities from sports to art activities, all of which you can volunteer to help with.
6. Peace Corps
Charity Navigator Score: N/A
- Promote peace globally by serving underserved communities
- Work on various themes such as education, environment, health, and economic development
The Peace Corps is a U.S. government agency created on March 1, 1961, by Executive Order 10924 issued by President John F. Kennedy. enables volunteers to travel around the world to promote peace. The organization allows seniors to volunteer in various capacities, making an impact in underserved communities through education, economic development, health, and fighting hunger. You can choose which aspect you would like to participate in and your assignment is provided accordingly. With the Peace Corps, you are posted in underserved communities working to improve the social-economic conditions of the community.
7. Children’s Hunger Fund
Charity Navigator Score: 95.47 out of 100
- Provide food to underserved families
Children’s Hunger Fund looks to empower churches globally to help serve the impoverished individuals within their community. The organization looks to ensure that families of the community are fed and receive the aid they need to live a better life. The Food Pak program delivers 20 pounds of food which can feed a family for up to two weeks. Volunteering with Children’s Hunger Fund will allow you to help children in underserved communities by ensuring they receive proper nutritional food.
8. Senior Corps
Charity Navigator Score: N/A
- Help create a better community by mentoring the youth
- Assisting and Caring for seniors that are in need
Senior Corps is a U.S. government agency designed specifically for seniors, 55 years and above. It aims to promote seniors being more active within their community. In the Senior Corps you get the chance to work with seniors that are much older. You can assist them with regular house work or just be there for them as a friend. You can work anywhere from 15 to 40 hours a week assisting older seniors live on their own. You will be trained prior to being deployed on the field.
9. Meals On Wheels
Charity Navigator Score: 94.84 out of 100
- Promote better health and ensure seniors get meals
Meals on Wheels works to help solve malnutrition and prevent hunger within the senior population in the U.S. The program runs in all 50 states and has a network of 1.7 million volunteers. While the program ensures seniors get proper meals, there are a lot of seniors that take part and volunteer in the program themselves. From packaging meals to delivering them, you get a chance to become a part of a network that ensures that those less fortunate get proper nutrition.
10. Direct Relief
Charity Navigator Score: 98.23 out of 100
- Relief in case of emergencies
- Relief for those living in poverty
Direct Relief provides volunteers with the option to go out and help individuals or work in the backend and still be able to help. It is a humanitarian aid organization that serves the U.S. along with 80 other countries. It works to help individuals that have been affected by a disaster or those that live in poverty. While it may be difficult for seniors to go out and serve in emergencies, the organization does have bases where they pack and ship supplies to those affected. You will be able to help out in one way or another even if you can’t go out on the field.
Where To Find More Volunteer Opportunities Near You
If none of the above suits your interests, then the websites below will help you find more that may.
Best For: Discovering volunteer opportunities abroad
Go Overseas is a community reviews site with thousands of international volunteer opportunities. Volunteers provide feedback about their experience working on projects, so you can get an idea of what to expect. If your interest lies in seeing another part of the world and learning about a different culture while making a difference then Go Overseas is a great place to start.
Best For: Researching the reputation of nonprofits
Charity Navigator helps you learn more about charities with ratings about their finances and transparency. While they do have nearly 10,000 rated, smaller charities are unlikely to be included or have much information listed.
Best For: Finding ongoing volunteer opportunities
VolunteerMatch helps connect you with ongoing volunteer opportunities in your local community. 127 thousand nonprofits have listed 4.5 million volunteer opportunities on the website with reviews, a description of each opportunity, and the schedule requirements if any are present.
Volunteering can be incredibly gratifying. If you find yourself with some extra time, consider getting involved in a local or global cause.
Being part of a community, the fulfillment of knowing you’re helping those in need and committing yourself to something bigger than yourself are just a few of the benefits that can come with volunteering.
Know of a great nonprofit in your area that others should know about? Share their details in the comments below!