Senior Citizen's Guide to PIttsburgh 2014 Vol. 1 Winter/Spring - page 42

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Fun Senior Volunteer Opportunities
Mohandas Gandhi once said,
“The best way to find yourself is to
lose yourself in service to others.”
Now add some fun to the mix, and
you’ll find yourself wondering why
you waited so long to volunteer.
Pittsburgh is rife with fun
things to do that involve service
to others. Whether you go solo or
prefer groups, like the indoors or
outdoors, or enjoy spending time
with people or animals, there’s
something for everyone.
Do you equate fun with being
physical? Then lend your energy to
any number of special events going
around in Pittsburgh, such as festi-
vals, concerts, theater productions,
and gallery attractions. Serve as a
docent, guide, greeter, attendant,
storyteller, or committee member.
Now if your idea of fun involves
getting your hands dirty, then put
them to work in tending to com-
munity gardens—planting flow-
ers or trees; sweeping rivers and
streams of trash; trail-blazing; or
removing knotweeds from scenic
wooded areas.
How about being a nature guide?
You don’t need a college education
in biology to share your exuberance
for and love of the environment.
Many nature centers provide train-
ing and are looking for YOU.
So you have a trade and feel
best when you have a project to
do? Use your hands to build or
repair homes for those devastated
by disaster or of low incomes, or
perform maintenance for many
nonprofits whose focus must be on
their needful clients.
What about fun, animal-related
opportunities? Many animal shel-
ters in the Pittsburgh area are look-
ing for people to cuddle cats and to
walk or groom dogs. Be a bunny
buddy or an animal foster parent.
Or, as part of outreach programs,
take animals into the community
in hopes of getting them adopted.
Having fun in service to others
doesn’t necessarily mean you have
to get physical. You can have fun
with limited effort—in your own
home! For example, if you can’t
be on your feet, sit down and use
your “crafty” skills to make sock
monkeys for children’s homeless
shelters will bring much joy and
solace to children. Or make veter-
ans happy—sew wheelchair bags
to be dispersed at various hospi-
tals. Or make lap robes, blankets,
pillows, and turbans for patients
in need. Likewise, if you are quite
the conversationalist (you know
who you are!), then be a telephone
pal to someone who is homebound
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