Newly retired who find themselves with all those extra hours they used to spend in the office often start looking for volunteering opportunities. However, the universe of non-profits is so huge that it may be difficult to pick the right volunteering opportunity. Do you want to sign up with a large, high-prestige organization like a major museum, or do you prefer to work with a smaller dance or theater company? Is being outdoors your thing? Then maybe doing spring or fall clean-up in one of the New York City’s many parks looks tempting. Do you love to work with children? Consider volunteer tutoring.
The opportunities to volunteer in NYC are endless. For example, New York Public Library was recently looking for volunteers to teach chess, crochet and knitting. The list changes continually, so check their website for the latest information.
Next, ask yourself what do you want from the volunteering experience? Are you looking to make social connections and find new friends? Utilize the skills you have learned during your long career? Get a behind-the-scenes look into something that you love? Look for a potential second career?
In order to get some insight into picking a volunteering opportunity, we spoke to Phyllis Gates, who has been for many years an active member and/or board member of several different charities.
A: More relaxed, less formal/structured meetings & probably more work.