Congratulations on your retirement. Are you ready for next season?

Every morning this winter, I scraped ice and snow off my car in preparation for driving to my job, as my retired neighbor wandered along with his dog and asked with a sly smile, “Where are you going? Work?”

Every morning I nodded in grim affirmation.

“I am taking the day off today,” he slyly replied. Every. Single. Morning. Sometimes, I affectionately tossed an envious snowball in his direction.

So, you, like my neighbor, have achieved the status of no longer being required to rise at dawn to shovel the walk, warm the car against the cold, and brave slippery roadways to get to work. You can stay home, enjoy a cup of hot tea, maybe stay toasty by the fire, and read a good book.

Then, maybe, later in the day you tackle the next item on your “to do” list and start redecorating the house, renovating the bathroom and kitchen, playing bridge, perfecting the greenness of your grass, learning how to knit, maximizing your vegetable garden produce, watching the grandchildren on snow days, repointing the bricks, making peanut butter eggs, sealing the driveway, visiting each child at least twice a year, taking the grandchildren to Disney (... insert your activity here.)

Wonderful, much deserved leisure to accomplish all of your personal goals.

But then the grandchildren graduate; the house is so perfect there is nothing more to fix; you can’t give away all of the zucchini you grow; your perfect yard now requires minimal upkeep; everyone you know has a scarf, hat, mittens and afghan; you can only play so much bridge; and suddenly you have some “spare” time. Maybe you have more “spare” time than you like.

We can help you with that spare time!

Every year in Centre County, more than 1,000 retired volunteers do things they love to do, in places they love to be, and serve their communities through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. The RSVP staff is happy to help you explore some “spare time” options and find a satisfying volunteer placement. While you are considering this opportunity, here are a few questions to ponder. The suggested answers are not intended to limit you, just provide ranges we observe and respect.

How much time would you like to fill? Would you occasionally like to step out and lend a hand, or would it be good for your head and your heart to have a standing assignment once or twice a week for a few hours?

How much responsibility would you like? Are you ready to throw yourself into a new project with some “feel good” responsibility, or would you like to just show up and help with whatever is needed?

How far are you willing to travel? Are you in the “have car, will travel” category or do you take the county van?

How often are you out of town? Are you here all winter, or headed south from November to March?

What types of things would you like to do? Did you love your job? What activities did you enjoy the most? Did you hate your job? What other types of activities do you enjoy?

What environment do you seek? Are you a “people” person and long for the company of others, or do you prefer working alone?

RSVP can help you explore the answers to these questions and together with our 70 partner organizations, navigate you toward a very successful and satisfying season of volunteering.

We can help you find your passion with service options from serving group meals to delivering meals to the shut-ins; from fixing stuff to stuffing envelopes; from testing stream water to watering vegetables; from preparing tax returns to returning phone calls; from driving model solar cars to driving veterans to health care appointments; from special projects to Special Olympics; from corresponding with a child to phoning a homebound senior; from teaching nutrition classes to providing respite in a hospice room.

Whatever motivates you, a volunteer opportunity is sure to exist. And the best part, nobody expects you to drive in the snow!

We look forward to hearing from you.