June 8, 2021 —Study after study has shown that volunteering enhances quality of life, instills a sense of purpose, and provides a mental health boost to those who donate time and energy to others. For older adults, it is a highly effective way to stay both mentally and physically engaged, lower rates of depression, prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation, and stay cognitively sharp.
The Corporation for National and Community Service estimated that 18.7 million older adults – more than a quarter of those 55 and older – contributed on average more than three billion hours of service in their communities per year between 2008 and 2010.
Where to Find Volunteer Opportunities
During the past year of pandemic and social distancing, most volunteer opportunities were halted, although some found more creative ways to take on volunteer projects virtually. But it’s no surprise that Kendal at Lexington residents are ready and eager to get back out into their community and get busy.
A new volunteer committee has formed at Kendal. Doreen Folzenlogen is one of the coordinators gathering information on opportunities available. Whether it is volunteering here on the Kendal campus or the surrounding community, new openings are posted both on the resident web portal CATIE and posted on bulletin boards.
“There definitely is excitement among residents that we are really starting to open up,” Doreen added. Tentatively plans are to hold a volunteer orientation fair which will be announced as soon as it is scheduled.
One way that many residents volunteer is serving on various resident committees, everything from dining to sustainability to special events. Others have been active out in the community at nature centers, the nearby W&L University, VMI, and other civic organizations.
Some residents enjoy putting their gardening muscles to work, while others serve as docents at some of the nearby historical interests. No matter what interests you or whether you have an hour of more to serve, chances are there’s a perfect opportunity waiting for you.
There are several area opportunities opening up including:
- Rockbridge Regional Library
- Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden
- Rockbridge Area Hospice
- Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA)
- Lime Kiln Theater
- Project Horizon
- Stonewall Jackson House
- Meals on Wheels
Additional information is available from the listing on the resident web portal CATIE or through Doreen. Her growing list also includes some background on the types of positions available as well as information on some Kendal residents who have been active volunteering at these locations in the past.