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Business Advice / The Virtues of Volunteering

The Virtues of Volunteering

June 22, 2021

Older Worker

Older Worker


By Janet Bodnar

My column on fulfilling ways to spend retirement continues to generate inspirational responses from readers, many of whom have sung the praises of volunteering. You also volunteered the names of additional service groups that you have found rewarding. I’ll cite a number of them for those of you in search of a cause that strikes a chord.

Many of your efforts focus on children. After working for more than 40 years as a registered dietician in hospitals and nursing homes, reader Linda Hall volunteers for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, which delivers gift-filled shoeboxes to children around the world. “I am using my marketing MBA and my organizational and people skills,” writes Hall. “Sometimes I think that my training and experience were meant all along to be applied in my volunteer work.”

Nila Whitfield, who describes herself as a “teacher wannabe” who always wanted to work with kids, has donated time to Make-A-Wish and A Kid Again, helping families with children facing critical illnesses.

Reader Jodie Black requests that I mention her group, National CASA/GAL Association, which has more than 950 local affiliates that train volunteers to work with children in foster care.

Reader Marty Jacobson helps people at the other end of the age spectrum: He was an original member of Seniors vs. Crime, a special task force of the Florida attorney general’s office dedicated to prosecuting criminals who defraud elderly Florida residents. Now retired, Jacobson has rejoined the task force, which has 36 offices throughout Florida and more than 200 senior volunteers. “I am very evangelical about working for this group,” writes Jacobson.

In addition to being president of a local symphony orchestra, Charles Dye is a mentor with SCORE, a national organ­ization of experienced business­people who counsel small businesses. Says Dye, “I’m 87 and am amazed that I’m still enjoying life.”

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