Living Columns & Blogs

Want to add volunteering to your 2019 resolutions? Here’s where to start

The start of a new year is a great time to get more involved in the community. The following are just a few ideas to help you achieve some of your resolutions you may have set for yourself, such as building relationships, losing weight or spending more time with friends and family. Why not add volunteering to your 2019 resolutions? By volunteering, you will stay active, healthier and connected to our community. Also, volunteering will brighten your day, and brighten those lives you touch.

  • Animal care: Fostering an animal is a great way to lose weight gained over the holidays. Training and exercising a shelter dog not only keeps the foster parent in shape but prepares the animal to be a pet for a new family.

  • Food service: Rather than eating alone at home, spend the day volunteering at a Centre County food pantry. Consider starting at the beginning of the year when the holiday help starts to dwindle.

  • Activities: Sharing your singing voice or leading crafts at a nursing home is a great way to give back to the communities while helping an overlooked group of people. Bring a friend or two to help show someone in the community still cares.

  • Special projects: You’re not ready to commit to a regular volunteer assignment? Try “short term projects” such as mailings, Special Olympics, Trash to Treasure and staffing event booths. You are able to pick and choose when and where you want to go, and these projects still get you out into the community to experience the work and missions of nonprofit organizations.

  • Phone calls: If you don’t want to leave your home, how about making a friendly call to those who live alone? For people living by themselves who don’t necessarily have daily contact with others, just knowing that a friendly volunteer will be calling to check on them can provide peace of mind and also potentially provide a lifelong friendship.

  • Willing to grow: Many children don’t have grandparents who live nearby to share and learn life’s experiences with. You can make a difference by participating in the newly formed partnership between the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program and Youth Service Bureau. We are looking to match Bigs with Littles to help bridge the gap in the generations.

  • How to get started: If you would like more volunteer ideas, or want to join RSVP, please contact Brenda and Maryanne at We will be glad to help fill your volunteer niche.

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Centre County helps adults 55 and older to pursue their passions, not just for themselves, but in the service to others in the community.

Whatever your age is or whatever form of volunteering you choose, serving others is the perfect way to help our community along with achieving your goals you have set for yourself for the coming year.

Brenda Reeve is the RSVP of Centre County coordinator.