VOLUNTEER - fluorescent Neon tube Sign on brickwork

A purpose in life is a great thing. When your working life is over and your kids have grown up and gone, that purpose can become volunteering for a worthy cause.

It gives you drive, passion, and a meaningful way to spend your time. It can make you feel good about yourself and improve your community or environment. You can even make like-minded friends while volunteering.

In short, after you retire, there’s plenty you can do to stay active and help others. If you have recently searched Google for “places to volunteer near me,” this article is just for you.

Find a New Purpose and Volunteer in Your Community

There are all kinds of opportunities out there for you to make a difference. Carefully consider the issues you feel passionate about and go do some good.

Help the Down-and-Out in Your City

If you’re interested in helping the homeless, the needy, and other vulnerable groups in your area, considering volunteering at soup kitchens, donation centers like the Salvation Army, or helping out at homeless shelters. You can even donate non-perishable food, clothing items, and basic necessities.

Volunteers of America is a worthwhile organization that focuses on giving assistance to groups like those mentioned above, including seniors, veterans, and the disabled. They also run senior care centers, assisted living facilities, and provide home health care. Consider donating to such an organization if these issues are close to your heart.

Get Political and Become an ACLU Volunteer

If your passions are more politically-oriented, consider volunteering for the ACLU, or the American Civil Liberties Union. This group guards and defends civil liberties and the individual rights of all people as stated in the U.S. Constitution.

To help out those who have had their civil liberties threatened or their rights violated, you can donate to the ACLU on their website. They also have an Action Center that outlines a number of issues happening right now that you can help with, such as “Show Up for Trans Youth,” “Protect Planned Parenthood,” and “End the Culture of Warrior Policing.”

Help Care for Homeless or Injured Animals

If animals are your passion, there are plenty of ways you can help.

The Humane Society of the United States has locations nationwide and constantly needs help caring for, rescuing, fostering, and socializing kittens, puppies, cats, dogs, horses, and small animals. There are volunteer opportunities in almost every state, and you can even help with fundraising or organizing events.

If you’d like to help rescue and rehabilitate wildlife, there are organizations all over the U.S. where you can volunteer. These groups save wild animals abandoned by their mothers, wildlife that has been injured from unfortunate run-ins with humans, and disabled animals that have been left behind by their owners.

One Green Planet lists 12 different wildlife organizations all over the country that you can contact for more information.

Volunteer - you can build an extended social network

Become a Volunteer Tutor

If you love children and are invested in learning, you might consider becoming a volunteer tutor at one of your local schools. Tutors help children of all ages with everything from reading to writing, to math skills, to science, to readying them for the SATs.

Families of underprivileged children especially cannot afford tutors or extra homework help for their kids. However, there are many free after-school programs where you can volunteer your time helping kids get better at various skills. For instance, you can tutor first graders in learning to read, help fifth graders improve their multiplication skills, or assist high school kids with essay writing.

When you’re retired and looking for a new life purpose, volunteering can be the answer. Follow your passion and lend your time to people or animals in need. You and your community will see the benefits for years to come.