Enjoying favorite pastimes while exploring new opportunities is something we all look forward to when we retire. Seniors can share their knowledge and skills within the community by giving their time to help others. Here are a handful of our top picks for volunteer opportunities within the Washington, DC area.
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History has a variety of opportunities for individuals to share their time and talent. Meet and greet visitors, assist staff with educational programs, help at the information desk or work as a tour guide. Other areas where you can provide support include research, collections, archives digitization, and providing clerical assistance.
The Koshland Science Museum welcomes volunteers to help visitors by answering questions and providing assistance. Work with staff at special events and have the opportunity to meet scientists. Volunteers receive invitations to community events and festivals, get free passes for museum admission, and discounted rates for purchases at the National Academies’ bookstore.
Volunteers play an important role in supporting the efforts of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Considered as Friends of the Kennedy Center, volunteers fill many roles by helping staff in a variety of areas. Options to help include providing administrative support and working within the costume studio. Rewards include discounts at the KC Café and gift shops and occasional free tickets.
Volunteer programs at the Washington Humane Society include dog and cat care plus behavior training and assisting adoption counselors. Other duties include cleaning the kennel areas and walking dogs, socializing animals, and providing support with outreach programs. Volunteers can help at adoption events and assist staff with administrative duties.
If you love animals and have a passion for educating others about conservation, consider volunteering at the National Zoo. The staff hires helpers for long-term volunteer work for positions as keeper aides, interpreters, and animal behavior watchers. You can work directly with the public or share your time and talents providing administrative support in the office.
If working with books and information is your specialty, the Library of Congress has several areas where you can volunteer your skills. Options include working as a research guidance volunteer, helping at the orientation and information desk, or assisting staff in the Young Readers Center. The Library of Congress also has a docent-training program for volunteers to give tours to visitors.
The District of Columbia Public Library is also seeking volunteers to help staff and provide support in a variety of roles. Lend a hand by participating in educational programs and helping visitors use computers. Organize and shelve books and other materials, assist with special events, or work as an adaptive services volunteer to help patrons with disabilities.
This guide highlights a small sampling of volunteer options for you to explore within the Washington, DC area. Retired seniors will find that there are many opportunities to share their skills and support the community while making new friends.
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