Feb 9, 2012
Many empty nesters are searching for an opportunity to provide meaningful volunteer service in their communities. They seek a hands on experience in a safe environment. Folks seek something more than to simply attend charity events. While fundraising is essential, many empty nesters seek more personal involvement in their volunteer work.
As a judicial officer handling cases in juvenile court I see many empty nesters volunteering in various roles. These folks work in a structured setting with the benefit of supervision and training providing valuable service to children. It is extremely rewarding for the volunteers.
Court Appointed Special Advocates(CASA) provides this opportunity for empty nesters across the country. No formal education degrees are required and people from all occupational backgrounds are welcome. The CASA receives training and supervision as they are “placed” with children who are under the court system because their parents have been adjudicated as needing social service intervention. Find out more about CASA and how you can become involved in your area.
I have personally witnessed the benefits that both the volunteers and the children have received from this program. I encourage empty nesters to explore this opportunity to provide meaningful volunteer service to enrich not only their lives but also those of children in need.
Of course, there are so many other opportunities including working at food banks such as the Food Bank of the Rockies in Colorado and Wyoming. As our children grow up and our houses are empty; volunteer service can help fill a void, and the valuable experience we have gained through the trials and tribulations of child raising can be used to help others.
I urge my fellow empty nesters to reach out to others in our community and continue to grow and learn as volunteers. Our perspectives can be changed when we have a different experience and it forces us to continue to expand our horizons. Didn’t intend to be so forceful and persuasive (occupational hazard) but to simply encourage empty nesters to turn off the television and get off the couch for a life enriching experience.
Patrick T. Murphy
District Court Judge
17th Judicial District