Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh 2016 Spring/Summer Edition - page 38

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 necessarilymean 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 chil-
dren. Or make veterans happy—sew
wheelchair bags to be dispersed
at various hospitals. 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 and in need of socializa-
Why Wait to Volunteer?
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