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Purposeful Living- 40 ways seniors can give back

Purposeful Living- 40 ways seniors can give back

Winston Churchill once said, "It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something." The human spirit longs for meaning, for purpose, regardless of age or ability. Purpose is a core need, and a determining factor in one's ability to maintain joy and a sense of overall fulfillment in life. Some may have bought into the misconception that older adults are not as able to contribute, compared to younger people. This narrative couldn't be further from the truth. In many cases, the older adult is more equipped than the average person. With a more robust collection of experiences, wisdom, and expertise, one could argue that this generation brings more to the table than any other group. Additionally, older adults may have more time to contribute to a good cause than those that are still in the middle of raising kids or building a career. If you or an older adult in your life is on the hunt for meaningful activities to get involved in, check out our list of 40 ways older adults can give back.

1. Donate quality home goods and clothing to women's shelters.

2. Collect supplies for schools to give to students in need.

3. Sign up to be a baby cuddler in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) at a local hospital.

4. Volunteer at a local animal shelter.

5. Write letters of encouragement to area teachers.

6. Sew simple dresses for under privileged girls in developing countries.

7. Collect canned food for a local food pantry.

8. Help children learn how to read by volunteering with a literacy program.

9. Knit caps for babies in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit).

10. Volunteer to give an educational presentation at a local senior center.

11. Pick up litter in public parks.

12. Deliver meals to those in need.

13. Pack snack bags to send with the local football team for away games.

14. Volunteer with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

15. Partner with a local drama club to serve as an usher during shows or build backdrops and props.

16. Work the concession stand at high school sporting events.

17. Sign up to read to children during story time at the public library.

18. Serve as a crossing guard at the elementary school.

19. Compile the stories of older adults into a keepsake book for their loved ones.

20. Sit with those living with dementia to allow their caregiver a break.

21. Make and deliver a meal to a busy, single parent.

22. Provide blankets and stuffed animals to the local Police Department to give to children they encounter in traumatic circumstances.

23. Pray for your Pastor and other church leaders.

24. Make phone calls to those experiencing isolation.

25. Serve as a tutor to students enrolled in after school programs.

26. Partner with a local funeral home to repurpose discarded flowers. Rearrange them and deliver to those in the hospital.

27. Leave a kind online review for new small businesses.

28. Pet sit for a friend who needs a weekend getaway.

29. Volunteer to work the registration table at various charity events.

30. Encourage young parents when you see positive parenting in public.

31. Compile small hygiene bags for homeless shelters.

32. Volunteer with the Special Olympics.

33. Teach a music or art class at a community center.

34. Partner with area high school history teachers to give a firsthand account of historical events in America.

35. Support the growth and development of students enrolled in the area's 4-H Club.

36. Create memory quilts or pillows for grieving families, made from the shirts that once belonged to their loved one.

37. Create anti-boredom kits for children in the hospital with items like simple crafts, coloring pages, or activity books.

38. Send care packages to those serving overseas in the miliary.

39. Donate old hearing aids or eyeglasses to the Lion's Club where they are recycled for those in need.

40. Knit a teddy bear for children who are HIV positive in developing countries.

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MRC Mirador Senior Living Discovery Explore Card, Corpus Christi