Once we have retired, most of us want to work on causes that really matter to us and focus on pursuing our passions. Luckily, there is a wide selection of opportunities for you to contribute your expertise, talents, and time in the San Francisco community. There is something for everybody whether you are into improving literacy, spending time in nature, teaching, taking care of animals, or anything else.
San Francisco Unified School District is pretty large and relies heavily on the help of volunteers. The San Francisco Education Fund handles volunteering at the schools. Their mission is to harness the power of the community to equip every child with the skills to succeed in a career, civic responsibility, and in college. They have several programs, including tutoring and mentoring, a literacy program, math program, college and career readiness program, and more.
Felton Institute runs The Foster Grandparent Program in San Francisco. This program matches mobile seniors who are 55 years of age or older with children with special needs. You will receive a small stipend for providing support services for twenty hours per week. Your mentoring, emotional support, and tutoring services are needed in pre-schools, children’s units in hospitals, and classrooms.
The San Francisco Public Library has a broad range of volunteer opportunities that truly meet the needs of the library. Some of the current positions available are archive scanners, Friends of San Francisco Public Library helpers, homework help assistants, literacy tutors, veteran benefits coaches, and much more.
The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals hosts an animal-assisted therapy program. They have a team of 275 volunteers that make visits to locations throughout the city. You will share the human-companion animal bond while working with your own friendly small animals, dogs, birds, or cats. The Puppy Dog Tales Reading Program is associated with this. This essentially involves children reading stories to dogs, which improves the child’s reading abilities.
Volunteering at the San Francisco Zoo is an educational, rewarding, and fun experience. They have opportunities in their Animal Resource Center, Family Farm, and several other departments. If you have a lot of experience working with animals, you might consider going through the Zoo’s docent training. In this course, you will learn to connect visitors to wildlife through biofact presentations, school tours, and informative talks.
You will gain new skills and make new friends while giving your time as a San Francisco Botanical Garden volunteer. They also have a docent-training program or you can simply join the Green Team and get your hands dirty.
The University of California Cooperative Extension runs the Master Gardeners of San Mateo & San Francisco Counties program. They will train you to be a master gardener who can volunteer giving horticulture advice in your community.
This is meant to just give you an idea of what is available in San Francisco. You are sure to find the perfect way to donate your time that will keep you busy, social, and engaged by doing just a little research.
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