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Working in Retirement

Boomers sought out for volunteer opportunities

As retired adults look to stay active, some may choose to enter the work force again while others may choose to go back to school. Still others might want to volunteer their time to a good cause and that is what some people in Oregon are hoping for. Workers at the Gladstone Center for Children and Families are hoping that baby boomers will step forward to be mentors for the kids there, The Clackamas Review reports.

The initiative is being led by Susan Trone, who was recently given a $25,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to build up a volunteer program. Trone and other organizers hope that by reaching out to baby boomers they will not only be offering them volunteer opportunities but will also provide youngsters mentors with a wealth of life experience.

The Gladstone Center for Children and Families caters to youngsters up to kindergarten age and though it is looking for one-on-one mentors, Trone says she is accepting boomers looking to do any number of helpful activities.

"The kindergarten teachers need people who will come in and work with small groups in reading, math, art, cooking, gardening, drama, music and cultural awareness," Trone told the newspaper.

The children's center is not the only organization setting its sights on baby boomers. The generation - the 78 million people born between 1946 and 1964 - have the highest volunteer rate of any other age group and the Corporation for National and Community Service says it would benefit organizations to reach out to them.

Recent research from the corporation found that the number of boomer volunteers is going to steadily increase as they reach retirement age. In 2007 there were around 9 million people 65 and older donating their time, but that figure is expected to rise 50 percent over the next decade and will eventually reach 13 million in 2020.

Though they are willing to volunteer, experts say that charities should make changes to the large demographic. For instance, the corporation says that organizations may want to offer new roles that make use of boomers' skills.

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