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Cleveland Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors

Many of us want to focus on the causes that matter most of us while pursuing our passions when we retire. Thankfully, Cleveland offers several ways for you to contribute your time, experience, and skills to the community. There are opportunities for everyone whether you are interested in literacy, nature, teaching, or animals.

Mentor and Teach

The Cleveland Public Library needs plenty of volunteers for it to run smoothly. Volunteering is handled by the Friends of the Cleveland Public Library. They are looking for committed and energetic volunteers to help with book sales, shelving of books, story time readers, and much more.

The main school district in the city is Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Last year, hundreds of volunteers mentored, helped to improve school buildings inside and out, tutored, chaperoned field trips, and motivated students to achieve academically and believe in themselves. There is a particular need for volunteers to sponsor special events, strengthen school programs, serve on school advisory committees, and help to establish parent groups.

Seniors aged 55 and older can take part in Cleveland’s Foster Grandparent Program, which is one of three Senior Corps Volunteer programs sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Through this program, you will provide one-on-one services to children with special or exceptional needs. In addition to the satisfaction of helping out, you will be reimbursed for your time and transportation and receive meals while on duty.

Work with Our Furry Friends

University Hospitals features a Pet Pals program that uses trained volunteers and their adult certified therapy dogs to make visits to patients. Some dogs serve as teddy bears for the patients, while others entertain with tricks. There are several breeds and sizes of dogs that are considered for this program.

The Cuyahoga County Fair needs volunteers each year for a wide array of animal handling positions. This includes judging animals, serving on committees, greeting new patrons, running contests and activities, and helping with setup and teardown.

If you like to take a walk on the wild side, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has more than 5,000 volunteers helping out each year. There are positions for greeting and directing visitors, special events, education programs, and assisting zookeepers.


When you do not have a yard of your own, it can be difficult finding ways to put your green thumb to good use. Luckily, there is a range of local organizations looking for individuals with your skills. People like you who assist with indoor and outdoor garden maintenance support the Cleveland Botanical Garden, help school groups, and more.

Once you go through the basic training conducted by the Ohio State University Extension faculty, you can join the Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County. You will then have virtually limitless opportunities to share your love of gardening with people of all ages throughout the community.

When it comes to volunteering opportunities for Jacksonville retirees, this is just a small sample of what is available. You are sure to find endless ways to keep busy and social doing what you love when you look around.

Learn more about Cleveland Senior Services here:

Cleveland Concierge Services

Cleveland Rehab Centers

Cleveland Senior Centers

Cleveland Hospitals

Things to Do in Cleveland

Senior-Friendly Workplaces in Cleveland

Cleveland Veterans Support Groups

How to Get Around Cleveland Without Driving

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