Image Credit: Beaufort History Museum
Volunteering is a popular pastime for retired individuals. According to a Merrill Lynch study, retired people work 45 percent of hours volunteered in the U.S., even though they only represent 31 percent of the adult population.
Finding volunteer opportunities can make a tremendous difference in the life of someone at retirement age. Many people struggle to find an identity at this point in their lives, with children grown, and the daily routine of a job in their past. Being a volunteer can provide a sense of purpose and an immediate boost in your mood. Many people find they even discover a new passion when they volunteer.
As a retiree, it’s important to strike a balance and find a volunteer opportunity that you can physically do, and that has little stress involved.
We set out to find the best volunteer opportunities for retirees in Bluffton, South Carolina — take a look at the list below.
The Chamber of Commerce
A great place to start your volunteer search is at the Chamber of Commerce of Beaufort County. There are over 800 non-profit agencies in the county with a myriad of ways to get involved. The Chamber has volunteer opportunities through its Adopt-A-Highway program and various events that they sponsor. You could even do something as simple as answering the phones at the Chamber while you get to know business owners in the community.
Low Country Volunteer Connections
The Lowcountry Volunteer Connections is another excellent resource. As a hub of all the volunteer opportunities in the area, this organization promises to help connect you to a cause you’re passionate about. If you access their website, you can sort and filter results to find the most urgent needs, sorted by accessibility or type of activity.
The Hilton Head Humane Association is always seeking volunteers. Shelters typically have more animals than they can manage on their own. Volunteers are crucial to their success. What’s more, animals always bring a smile to the faces of those around them. You can provide a variety of services whether it’s just greeting visitors, sitting with a scared animal, walking dogs, or helping keep the shelter cleaned and organized. The Hilton Head Humane Association also runs a volunteer-run thrift store. All proceeds from the store support their organization, and it’s efforts.
If you’ve always enjoyed the arts check with local art galleries, community theaters, and history museums. Many of these businesses need people to greet guests and take tickets or payments. Some offer classes to children and adults and request volunteer assistants to help manage or teach the children. Beaufort History Museum is one local museum that welcomes volunteers.
Hospitals and Medical Services
There are many volunteer opportunities in the medical field, and you don’t need to have medical experience to participate. The Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine always has opportunities for volunteers. Many hospitals have volunteers that greet patients and visitors, run the gift shop, and help transport patients. The local Red Cross is another great place to contact, whether it’s working in the local office or lending a helping hand at blood drives.
For Golf Lovers
If you love to spend your days on the greens and you want to give back, you’re in luck. The First Tee of Lowcountry is always looking for volunteers for multiple positions. You can answer phones and greet visitors or help teach kids how to play golf.
Volunteer Opportunities for Retirees in the Bluffton Community
Bluffton and Hilton Head Island are popular retirement areas because of their beautiful weather, scenery, and laid back pace of life. However, at Vineyard, we know that retirement doesn’t mean slowing down; it just means changing tempo and doing more of what you enjoy. Volunteering can provide just that! Not only will you find a renewed sense of purpose, but you’ll also likely make new friends, and perhaps even discover new passions.
As a part of our Vineyard Gives initiative we aim to give back to the community. Our Valeo Mission Statement also pushes us to Work Hard, Have Fun, and Help Others. We know that residents are a vital resource with their expertise, drive, and passions for individual interests and causes. As a part of our resident assessment, we look for opportunities that help our residents find purpose and leave the community better.