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Ideas for finding activities after retirement? | News, Sports, Jobs

Question: I am approaching my retirement date and would like to find activities to occupy my time. Do you have any ideas?

Answer: Retirement is something we all look forward to because it’s a time when we can do whatever we want. Once retired, it can seem scary not having a schedule or identifying as a full-time worker, regardless of your career.

We all want to get involved and be productive with purpose, even in retirement.

AmeriCorps Seniors is a volunteer opportunity that I encourage you to explore. AmeriCorps offers two programs, RSVP and the Lutheran Foster Grandparent Program, also known as FGP.

RSVP is an organization whose purpose is to enable Americans over the age of 55 to serve their communities. This opportunity to give back when time is available helps us feel productive and relevant. Using your interests and skills, RSVP staff will work to match you with a nonprofit that could utilize your knowledge and interests. RSVP has over 60 volunteer sites to choose from and one of them will be exactly the opportunity you are looking for.

Volunteering also allows you to give back to the community of which you are a part.

The second program of AmeriCorps Seniors, FGP’s goal is to provide a person-to-person support service to children with exceptional or special needs in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. Foster grandparent opportunities are available to men and women over the age of 55, who are income eligible and in good physical/mental health. People suitable for the program must enjoy being among children and possess the desire to enrich their lives when called upon.

What does an adoptive grandparent do? This program allows you to work in a school or daycare system. Volunteer as little as 15 hours per week on average (minimum of 5 hours in increments) or up to 40 hours under supervision – providing help, support, love and motivation to children in the need – collaborate, support and strengthen basic learning and self-care skills and enrich the lives of children in our community.

What do FGP volunteers receive? Travel assistance to volunteer site – accident insurance while volunteering – tax-exempt hourly allowance – paid orientation and monthly training – meals provided during volunteer days – new friendships and sense of purpose.

You can make a difference in the lives of others while making a positive difference in your life. To learn more about the program, please contact the AmeriCorps Seniors FGP Program at 665-5354 or check them out at

FGP has over 25 locations in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. One of these sites might be perfect for you. The staff look forward to working with you and your local school children to make life better for everyone.

I have seen the Foster Grandparent Program make a significant difference in many lives. Foster grandparents positively influence the lives of children in our community. Children get extra attention and a positive influence that will encourage them to succeed. For someone who is the adoptive grandparent, they see the benefits of being needed and appreciated. Teachers welcome the extra hand game into the classroom.

Both of these programs, RSVP and FGP, provide volunteer opportunities that will enhance your next phase of life. Some people call this period of your life your second act. I know it will be different and it can be exciting.

Your next step in life has just begun, the perfect time to start this new opportunity for you! You could learn new skills and develop new interests. I know you will meet new people!

Senior Life Matters is a community program sponsored by Lutheran Jamestown. For questions or concerns or to reach Janell Sluga, GCMC, call 716-720-9797 or email [email protected]

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