Dallas Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors

Retirement is when many of us hope to pursue our passions and focus on causes we care about. There are many ways you can contribute your time, skills and experience to the Dallas community, from learning and literacy to pets and nature. Here are a few of our favorite Dallas-area volunteer options.

Teaching and mentoring

The Dallas Public Library system has a diverse selection of volunteer jobs. The library needs people to help out with children’s story times, shelve books and locate wayward items, create in-library displays and help adults practice their foreign language skills. The library system also needs mentors to help elementary kids with homework and teachers to help adults study for the GED exam.

There are also mentorship and tutoring opportunities with the Dallas Independent School District. The district needs volunteers who are willing to take training and work individually with students facing academic challenges. The district also needs mentors willing to devote an hour a week to working with at-risk middle school students.

The Foster Grandparent Program at Senior Source is another way older adults can help children find their way at school and in life. Program volunteers devote 15 to 40 hours a week helping their foster grandchild with age-appropriate tasks—everything from rocking babies to helping older children with homework. Some volunteers receive a stipend based on their income level.

Working with animals

Animals lovers can help the Dallas Zoo by preparing food for the animals, keeping the garden beds in shape, assisting zookeepers and researchers, educating guests about exhibits, and helping out with special events. If you’re more into pets than wild creatures, groups like Heart of Texas Therapy Dogs provide a way for owners of calm, well-trained adult dogs to bring joy to people at local schools, senior centers, VA facilities, and college campuses during exam weeks.

The State Fair of Texas is always looking for volunteers to serve on committees for the youth livestock auction, international guest liaisons, local business recruitment for the raffle, and more. These programs serve more than 5,000 students at fair livestock events every fall.

Growing gardens and helping gardeners

The Dallas County Master Gardener Association is part of Texas A&M’s statewide network of groups that receive high-level gardening training at a discounted cost in exchange for a set number of volunteer hours. The Dallas County chapter has more than 400 members who help answer the public’s questions about food gardening and landscaping. Volunteers also help with school and community gardens, plant demonstration gardens in local parks and at community centers, and sponsor a yearly garden tour and rose sale.

Thousands of volunteers help keep the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden blooming. Among the many volunteer roles are Children’s Adventure Garden guides, puppet show helpers and costumed characters. The Arboretum also seeks volunteers for the information booth, offices, special events, and gift store. If you really want to get your hands dirty, the horticulture department looks for volunteers to help with weeding, planting and maintaining the gardens.

This is just a small sampling of the volunteer opportunities around Dallas. Look around and you’ll find ways to stay as busy as you like doing things you love.

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