Most of us want to spend our twilight years doing what matters most to us and pursuing our passions. Fortunately, there are many ways for you to put your skills, time, and experience to good use in the Riverside community. Whether you are into spending time in nature, taking care of animals, improving adult literacy, helping children, or anything else, there are opportunities available for you.
Nearly half a century ago, the California Department of Developmental Services began its Foster Grandparent Program. Today, it provides an excellent opportunity for Riverside seniors aged 55 years and better to volunteer in hospitals, schools, Head Start programs, and other youth-focused facilities. In return for your time, you receive a small stipend and other benefits.
Riverside Unified School District is always in need of volunteers. They understand that community engagement is necessary for preparing students for lifelong learning and that volunteering is important for staying engaged. Once you complete training and a background check, you can assist in a broad range of capacities, such as helping out in the classroom, mentoring, reading to youngsters, and tutoring.
The Riverside Public Library relies heavily on the help of older residents. They have a number of programs that could benefit from your assistance, including homework help, homebound book delivery, veteran benefits counseling, and many other areas.
The Riverside Discovery Center has a constant need for people willing to donate their time and talents. If you are interested in education or sharing your passion for the natural world with others, they need volunteers for their board of directors, special events, landscaping, adopt-a-spot, petting zoo monitors, committee members, and gift shop attendants. Or, if you are willing to go through some training, you can serve as an educational docent.
For more than a decade, Paws 4 Healing has connected its volunteer members and their registered pets with those in need of animal-assisted therapy services in the community. Volunteers give their time in children’s centers, assisted-living facilities, hospitals, battered women’s homes, schools, nursing homes, and other facilities where there is need of the healing and comforting powers of pets. You can also help raise awareness by participating in parades, events, expos, fairs, and conferences.
The University of California, Riverside Botanical Gardens are a sight to behold. While it is supported by the University, there is still a huge need for volunteers outside and inside the Gardens with administrative duties or hands-on with plants. You can even become a docent and give tours.
The University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program of Riverside County trains you to be a horticultural leader in the community. With the drought affecting Southern California, there is a particular need for Master Gardeners who can show local homeowners to be water-wise in their garden and yard.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to volunteer opportunities for older adults in Riverside. As you continue to do your own research, you are sure to find positions that are ideal for keeping you socially, engaged, and busy.
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