The baby boomer generation has always made a difference in society, shaping its culture and setting new trends as it leaped from one decade to the next. Now boomers are setting a trend as volunteers. Baby boomers have always been inspired by social activism so volunteering appeals to their social conscience. A record number of baby boomers now volunteer, making a difference in society.
As volunteers, boomers draw on their well-honed professional skills and years of work experience to play a vital role in various aspects of public and community service. Volunteering enables them to connect with the community, be productive, engage in social interaction and give back to society.
Baby boomers have strong local community ties so most volunteer with local community groups. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports one-third of all boomers already volunteer with at least one formal organization on an ongoing basis, averaging 51 hours a year or approximately one hour a week.
Babyboomergold reports most baby boomers give back in their own community. Many volunteer through their church, supporting charitable causes, church groups and educational programs. Others volunteer at food banks, sorting and shelving donated food and delivering it to charitable organizations in the community.
Boomer volunteers support local school systems, serving as student mentors, tutors, classroom assistants, sports coaches, sports event coordinators, computer lab assistants and mentors for extracurricular activities like drama and art projects. Other boomers volunteer at humane societies and animal shelters, caring for and feeding the animals, walking the dogs and organizing fundraising events.
Habitat for Humanity is another popular venue with boomer volunteers. These baby boomers travel to national and international sites as work crews and build and restore homes for families in need. Others volunteer to provide general labor assistance for local home improvement projects that assist the needy.
Boomers also volunteer to:
- provide transportation to the elderly;
- serve as gardeners and receptionists for charities;
- serve as docents for museums and guides for national parks;
- organize book drives for libraries;
- organize fundraising campaigns; and
- serve as consultants for non-profit groups.
Some boomers volunteer for political campaigns, grassroots groups, political action committees and special causes.
Volunteering enables baby boomers to reconnect with their spirit of social activism, engage in something that is significant and touch the lives of others. As volunteers, baby boomers are making a difference and giving back to society.