For its support of Louisiana storm victims after Hurricane Katrina, Houston was nicknamed “Big Heart.” But to area residents, Houston has always been big on volunteering to support and give back to others.
Not only is it a great way to share your time and talents, it’s also clear there are health benefits of volunteering for seniors. This blog post will show you how improving the lives of others can help improve your life too. It also offers a list of local volunteer opportunities for senior citizens.
Health Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors
Be social: After retirement, it can often be a little more difficult to stay connected to the community around you and find ways to meet new people. Being a senior volunteer at local events, religious institutions, parks, and museums is a great way to interact with a wide range of people in the community.
Boost your brainpower: Volunteering can help slow memory loss and mental decline by keeping you active and engaging your brain.
Give back: Volunteering is a great way to share your life experience and business knowledge with younger generations in your community.
Stay active: According to the University of Southern California’s School of Gerontology, less than one-third of people between 65 and 74 are physically active. Inactivity can promote the advancement of heart issues, bone loss, joint pain, and a slew of other health issues.
Keep learning: Volunteering is a great way to learn a new skill or pursue an interest that you didn’t have time for when you were working or busy raising a family.
Feel your purpose: Volunteering can give you a feeling of purpose by giving you a reason to get out of the house at least a couple of times per week. Plus, it can be done on your schedule.
Ways to Volunteer
If you want to get out in your community and help make it a better place, there are plenty of senior volunteer opportunities available in Houston. You can find a senior volunteer program associated with most of the areas listed below. Or, if you’re looking for something specific to support, we’ll list local volunteer opportunities for seniors and provide links to their webpages later on.
Get political: Walking door-to-door to help a politician you support is a great way to stay active while getting engaged and involved with your community.
Feed the soul: Your local soup kitchen, community pantry, or senior center may need help with everything from food preparation and distribution to washing dishes and clearing tables.
Mentor youth: Tutoring and mentoring are two of the most rewarding ways for seniors to volunteer at a youth center. You can do everything from helping with homework to just hanging out and building a connection.
Tutor online: For a more convenient way to stay engaged, consider tutoring and mentoring from your home, over the internet.
Think green: Looking to get some fresh air and meet new people? Consider volunteering for a park cleanup. To get started, look up local parks, as administrators will often organize cleanup days online.
Raise funds: Libraries, churches and community centers could always use an extra pair of hands at their fundraisers to help ensure things run smoothly. Depending on the event, you could help organize goods, carry boxes, or take contributions.
Volunteering in Houston
If you’re wondering, “What are the senior citizen volunteer opportunities near me?” Here’s a list of 18 volunteer opportunities for seniors in the Houston area.
BakerRipley: Serving more than 500,000 people a year, this organization provides Head Start, day care and after-school programming for area children, as well as care for seniors. BakerRipley also provides disaster relief, along with job training and tax preparation services for low-income Houstonians of all ages.
Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation: The foundation is working toward one goal: By 2030, every child in Houston will read at grade level and have books in their home. Their My Home Library program invites kids to go online, pick six books, and receive them free of charge. A $30 donation covers one child’s reading wish list.
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston: Their mission is to inspire and enable all youth to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. With multiple locations throughout Houston featuring a variety of activities, there’s sure to be a way you can help meet their mission.
Center for the Healing of Racism: The center conducts workshops focused on having really honest conversations around racism in schools, offices and religious organizations across the country.
Children’s Assessment Center: This group connects the childhood victims of sexual abuse and their families to psychological services and provides on-site medical clinic and private, child-friendly spaces for forensic interviews. This service spares victims the recurrence of potentially traumatizing trips to the hospital or police station.
Friends of Texas Wildlife: The Magnolia-based nonprofit cares for injured, displaced,and orphaned wildlife with the goal of rehabilitating and releasing them.
Galveston Bay Foundation: It’s the foundation’s mission to promote water quality and bay health through advocacy, conservation, education and research programs.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center: To help save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, biotherapies and related services, The Blood Center must collect about 800 donations every day.
Houston Food Bank: America’s largest food bank is right here in Houston, providing 83 million meals to 800,000 people each year. You can make a monetary donation. You can also add items to your grocery list — canned vegetables, fruit and nonperishable proteins, as well as pantry staples — and drop them in the red barrels at the front of your local H-E-B, Kroger or Randalls.
Houston Furniture Bank: For 26 years, there have been families affected by poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, mental and physical health concerns, and disasters. You can support them by donating your gently used furniture, volunteering your time, dropping off your mattress to be recycled, shopping at the Furniture Outlet, or contributing to their No Kids on the Floor Campaign.
Jewish Family Service: The organization provides counseling as well as specialized aid to those grappling with sustained, pervasive mental health issues. They also provide care for the elderly and disabled, help people find jobs, and visit the sick.
Kids in Need of Defense, (KIND) Houston: Since 2009, KIND’s Houston office has matched top law firms and corporations, willing and able to provide pro bono legal aid, with unaccompanied child immigrants and refugees heading to U.S. immigration courts across southeast Texas.
Kids’ Meals: This organization delivers meals door to door to under-served preschoolers in Houston. Each meal consists of a protein, healthy snack and juice. In addition, they deliver up to three grocery bags a week to their families. Volunteers are needed to deliver meals to the children’s homes in their own vehicle, and can reserve up to five of the available routes.
Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts Houston: An arts education organization for under-served communities, this program offers a variety of dance, visual art and music classes.
Montrose Center: This nonprofit offers a clinic, a domestic abuse shelter, and a host of other programs from yoga to free hot lunches for seniors. The center also provides housing and job training for homeless LGBTQ teens.
Target Hunger Houston: Target Hunger serves thousands of vulnerable households whose residents suffer from food insecurity each month. Volunteers are needed for Target Hunger Houston’s warehouse and senior services to help pack pantry and senior distributions.
The Beacon: This nonprofit organization serves the Houston homeless community through daily services, civil legal aid, counseling, mentoring and access to housing. Their mission is to provide essential and next-step services to restore hope and end homelessness in Houston.
Writers in the Schools: Each year, this organization connects over 38,000 often at-risk Houston kids with professional writers who teach them the craft of writing in 360 area classrooms.
The Giving Spirit Lives at The Buckingham
As a retirement community of caring and concerned citizens, the residents of The Buckingham enjoy volunteering in Houston. In addition, our thoughtful lifestyle gives them freedom to follow their interests. That’s why we feature a variety of clubs and organizations that sponsor volunteer opportunities for seniors. If you want to learn more about our lifestyle and culture of giving back, contact us through our website or call us anytime at 713-979-3090.