After retirement, most of us want to focus on pursuing our passions and working on causes that are dear to our heart. Fortunately, there is a wide array of opportunities in Tucson for you to contribute your talents, time, and experience to the community. There is something for everybody whether you like animals, teaching, nature, literacy, or anything else.
The Foster Grandparent Program is an excellent choice if you are interested in playing an important role in a child’s life. Administered through Northern Arizona University, you will act as a tutor and mentor for youth and children who need the extra attention. The requirements include being 55 years of age or older and available to serve 15 to 40 hours per week.
There is a range of volunteer opportunities available through the Pima County Public Library, which serves Tucson. Among the tasks that volunteers perform are helping the Seed Library sort through donated seeds, sorting and shelving books, helping with the summer reading program, helping kids learn to read, and delivering books to the homebound and shelters.
Tucson Unified School District also offers seniors opportunities to help the younger generation learn. There are two main programs you may want to consider. The Reading Seed Children’s Literacy Program recruits, trains, and places volunteer reading coaches in local elementary schools. You would work one-on-one with students in first through third grade. The Oasis Intergenerational Tutor Program provides exceptional training for active adult volunteers. You will help children build self-esteem, positive attitudes toward school, and language and reading skills.
Reid Park Zoo would not be in existence if it were not for the help of local volunteers. The volunteers help support events, educate visitors, help with administrative functions, and intern with animal staff. They want volunteers to use their talents to help, learn, and have fun.
Pet Partners of Southern Arizona is a nonprofit that seeks to bring comfort and joy to others in places where pets are not usually allowed. They are always looking for owner-pet teams to go to schools, retirement communities, hospitals, and other facilities to brighten the day of others.
The Pima County Fair is always in need of volunteers each spring. Positions include greeting new patrons, running contests and activities, helping with the horse shows, serving on committees, helping with tear down and set-up, and judging animals.
The Tucson Botanical Gardens relies on its team of talented and dedicated volunteers who assist with everything from staffing the live butterfly house to maintaining the grounds and gardens to educating guests about wise use of water and plants in the desert environment.
The University of Arizona’s College of Agricultural & Life Sciences Cooperative Extension runs the Pima County Master Gardeners. They train local gardeners to serve as community educators in matters such as environmentally responsible landscaping and gardening.
These are just a few of the senior volunteer opportunities in Tucson. You are sure to find endless ways to keep busy when you look around.
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