Retirement and the launch of your golden years is wonderful. You’re able to say goodbye to long commutes, stressful meetings and late nights in the office. The decades of juggling a family and a career are over. You now have plenty of time to do things you enjoy and find new hobbies. But, what if plenty of time is too much time?
With so many things happening in the world, you don’t have to look far to find volunteer opportunities-which is a perfect way to spend that extra time. While you are helping others and improving lives, you are also improving your own. Volunteering is good for your mental health- it keeps your brain and body active. It also helps prevent senior depression and isolation. Volunteering will likely mean something different to everyone. Becoming a volunteer could range from working at an animal shelter, feeding the homeless, or mentoring children.
To get started volunteering, here are a few ideas and tips. Whatever you decide to do though, make sure it is something you are passionate about.
1. Put Your Skills to Work
If you’re a skilled handyman or worked in carpentry, consider using these skills by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that works with families in need of decent, affordable housing, and volunteers to build and improve homes.
If you were a teacher or have experience working with children, consider working with your local 4-H to provide care and supportive mentoring to youth in your community.
Whatever your skills lie, put them to use through volunteering. Be creative.
2. Engage Your Interests
If you have a love for animals, consider volunteering at an animal shelter. They are always in need of volunteers to play with the animals, take them on walks and just show them love. Maybe you enjoy gardening. Put this passion to good use- look into starting a community garden.
3. Help the Needy in Your Community
Almost every community has a local food bank, homeless shelter or other type of community resource. These places are always in need of volunteers to prepare and serve meals or collect supplies.
4. Be Open Minded and Start Small
Ask for recommendations from friends and family, check websites or organizations in your area, or visit your local Seniors Center to inquire about opportunities. Once you find something you are interested in, start small. Get your feet wet though short periods of volunteering- maybe 2 hours at the food pantry or one Saturday afternoon at the animal shelter.
Studies show that those who volunteer experience greater life satisfaction and may have lower risk of health problems, including dementia. So, find a cause you are passionate about and start using your free time to give back.
This Monday, we would like to introduce you to SpringShire Advisory Board Member, Heath Bowman.
Heath is the president of the East Carolina University Alumni Association. His mission is to inform, involve and serve members of the ECU family throughout their lifelong relationship with the university. The ECU Alumni Association and SpringShire have formed a relationship, about which Heath comments, “We find that partnerships like this help us meet our mission to ensure that alumni and friends are well taken care of into their golden years.”
“Our association views partnerships with communities such as SpringShire as a great way to promote the outstanding quality of life that our Pirate alumni enjoy when they choose to begin their retirement years close to campus,” continues Heath.
Heath believes that the addition of SpringShire is just one example of how Greenville is becoming a retirement destination, especially for those with ties to ECU. “SpringShire will provide our alumni and friends with an option for active retirement living; one that showcases an impressive number of activities and amenities for its residents” says Heath.
As Heath entered his third year as president of the Alumni Association, he found himself engaging more and more with community partners who directly impact the experiences that alumni have while they are in Greenville. Heath notes that this engagement has translated into various volunteer leadership roles, including his role as the incoming chair of the Young Professionals of Pitt County, membership on the Uptown Greenville Board of Directors and involvement with community advocacy and advisory groups, including the SpringShire Advisory Board.
Heath is enthusiastic about being a member of the SpringShire Advisory Board. “I feel that giving my time, energy and input is a valuable way in which I can help shape the future of the city for our alumni and friends who choose to live, work and play here,” says Heath. In order for ECU to remain on an upward trajectory, Heath feels it is vitally important that Greenville continue to grow and thrive as the diverse and successful city he knows it to be – and the addition of SpringShire will help to do just that.
Yesterday we enjoyed Arts of the Pamlico‘s 10th annual Photography Exhibit and learning about the history of the Turnage Theater in beautiful downtown Washington, NC. Future and prospective residents heard about SpringShire, enjoyed delicious desserts, and viewed the photography of local North Carolina artists.
As a sponsor of AOP’s Photography Art Exhibit, we were pleased to present the Springshire Retirement Community Award for the photo that best depicted community to Chalisa Harnell for “Moving Up Day.”
Stop by the Turnage Gallery in Washington, NC to view the talented work of local, regional and state wide artists!
This Monday, we would like to introduce SpringShire Advisory Board Member, Theo H. Pitt, Jr.
Theo is a native and resident of Rocky Mount, NC. Following his retirement from Pioneer Savings Bank where he was CEO, he has been a real estate development and investment consultant. Throughout his life he has been active within the community and currently serves as an Independent Trustee on multiple mutual fund boards. “Theo’s knowledge and experience in the real estate market makes him a valuable addition to the SpringShire Advisory Board,” notes long-time friend and business associate, David Ammons, President of Retirement Living Associates (RLA).
For Theo becoming a part of the SpringShire Advisory Board was an easy decision. “Not only have I known and respected the Ammons family for many years, I also realized eastern North Carolina had a strong need for such a facility and wanted to be a part of making that a reality,” noted Theo.
Through the years Theo witnessed the growth and development of Springmoor as well as other retirement living facilities managed by David Ammons and the RLA staff. And he has seen first-hand how their knowledge and extensive experience in the industry has benefitted numerous retirees looking for active quality senior living options
“SpringShire will provide an opportunity for seniors to continue to live in a secure environment, while remaining socially active with other retirees,” says Theo. With limited choices for retirement living in the area, Theo is excited to help spread the word about SpringShire’s living opportunities for the increasing senior population in eastern NC.
We had a great time Wednesday traveling to our other RLA (Retirement Living Associates) active retirement living communities.
SpringShire guests’ first stop was SearStone. Guests toured the community and had lunch in the private dining room with current residents allowing them to envision a day in the life of an active retirement community. Like future residents of SpringShire, these individuals and couples also became a part of the community before construction began. SearStone residents shared their experiences about becoming part of a community before construction began and the advantages of committing to SpringShire now. We then traveled to Springmoor where we were welcomed by Executive Director Brandon Hair and walked through the community with President of RLA, David Ammons. Overall, the day was fun, informative, and appreciated by all!
This Monday, we would like to introduce you to SpringShire Sales Assistant, Leslie Parker Thompson.
Leslie began with Springshire in 2016 as the Sales Assistant. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to be part of a team. And, I liked the idea of helping prospective SpringShire residents learn about the many amenities that we will offer,” noted Leslie. She recognizes that it’s a big step when a person or couple decides to move into a retirement community and she’s dedicated to making that decision and transition as easy as possible. If you call SpringShire to request information or RSVP to an event you’ll often hear Leslie on the other end of the line. Or she’s the first cheerful face you’ll meet when entering the sales center or attending an event. When asked about SpringShire events Leslie stated, “I thoroughly enjoy networking with organizations and working with our local marketing team to develop and coordinate various events that highlight SpringShire or help future residents get to know one another.”
Leslie was born in Germany and considers herself an “Army brat”. Her father is her Hero and he has served his country proudly. She has lived in NC most of her life and went to ECU to pursue her Master’s degree in Sociology. Go Pirates! Most of her career has been advocating for others in the areas of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Leslie served as the Executive Director for the local Family Violence Program, and procured the shelter for battered women.
Later, she had the opportunity to serve as a Regional Director with the state, working 23 counties in the eastern part of the region while serving multiple programs for women. “I learned a lot by working with victims and survivors of domestic violence” notes Leslie, “and I found that for real change to come about, myths need to be challenged and those seeking help need to be heard without fearing judgment.”
After beginning work at SpringShire Leslie has continued helping others as a volunteer at the local Community Crossroads Center for the Homeless.
When asked about her work at SpringShire she noted, “I truly believe that SpringShire will be a place where community reigns and evolving friendships are built. I am glad to be a part of a team that is encouraging seniors to make plans for retirement living.”
Leslie lives in the country with her husband Marty and their daughter Rachel. Her hobby is collecting penguins–at last count she had 3,000.