Last week I played trivia in a local bar with three recently retired friends. All three remarked about how nice it was to be able to get out of the house and have something to look forward to. One admitted that the highlight of her day was watching "Jeopardy!" They admitted that retirement was “a little boring” at times.

I asked if they had considered volunteering in the community. None had given it a lot of thought. One even asked, “Where would I volunteer? What would I do?”

I told them that there are so many opportunities to help out that they could do almost anything. Volunteering in the year 2020 means doing something meaningful for yourself that truly helps others.

Today’s volunteers more than ever are using their personal skills to help others. If you are compassionate about animals, volunteer at the local humane society. If you have a kind heart for older adults, volunteer at the local care center or senior housing facility. If you love to read, there could be opportunities at your local library. If you like helping children, call your local school.

Programs like the Foster Grandparent Program actually provide training for people 55 and older to be able to volunteer in local schools and help struggling students. In return for volunteering, you could receive a small hourly stipend, ongoing training and a sense of purpose each and every week.

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What better reason to get out of bed every morning than to know you are needed and someone is looking forward to seeing you?

Jon Knopik

Area Supervisor, Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program

St. Cloud