- Written by Pat Sicard, RSVP Pioneer Valley
- Published: 15 April 2019
The benefits of volunteering range from helping your community to be a better place to honing skills to re-enter the job market. But the benefit that people may overlook is finding new friends and social connections. As TrueFriends.org states, “It really is okay to ask, what’s in it for me?” New friendships may be the answer.
Volunteering is fun and positive and is definitely a way to meet new people and make new friends. This is especially important for seniors who move away from the town or city where they have lived for years. Some move in with family or may relocate to senior living/retirement communities. It is very hard to adjust to new surroundings when you are “the new one” with few, if any, social supports.
“It really is okay to ask, what’s in it for me?”
Volunteering gives these seniors a positive goal for their leisure time and boosts confidence. This confidence makes it easier to reach out and build new friendships. Connecting with people who are actively volunteering benefits you as well as the people, causes, or organizations that you help, so enjoy the move and volunteer as soon as you are settled. Find the nearest senior center, school, hospital or survival center and offer your skills and time. If you need more help finding a volunteer opportunity, visit VolunteerMatch or NationalService.gov, or Google RSVP for the program nearest you.