Boomer generation volunteers are fulfilling their dreams of service.
15 Awesomely Inspiring Retirees
by Kristy Ramirez
When retirement comes around it is a good time to branch out to give back to the community some of what you have received over your years in the work place. Finance will no longer be a problem in many cases which means you will have the time and the resources to improve the lives of many others, especially those who are not as fortunate.
In order to honor some of these people who have unselfishly given back what they could makes an inspiring list. The first one off the mark is John M. Darch of Canada. Mr Darch spent most of his lifetime in the mining industry working in places such as Europe, Asia and Africa. While working in Thailand he became familiar with the Akha hilltribe population in the north of the country. A former opium growing community that now prefers growing coffee and various fruits. In order to help them succeed Mr Darch foundered the Doi Chaang Coffee Company that is based in Vancouver. This company is now positively lifting the living standards of the Akha hilltribe people.
Boomer Retirees in Community and National Services
An organisation known as the Dow Retiree Health Empowerment Program is active in promoting better health and a more active lifestyle among retirees in the United States. It soon found the finance needed in keeping such an organisation going was prohibitive. It looked as though their ongoing work was going to be curtailed until a group of community conscious volunteers arrived and offered their services. All members of this group are now considered to be health ambassadors of the program and work tirelessly to reinforce the importance of encouraging elderly folk to live a healthier lifestyle and how to go about it. They are:
- Bill Elrod of Luling, Louisiana
- Vince Villani of Fernandina Beach, Florida
- Gene Brown of Raleigh, North Carolina
- Robert Buchanan of LaMarque, Texas
- Gene Walker of Houston, Texas
- Jim Friedel of Victoria, Texas
- Carolyn Null & Julie Weese of Teay’s Valley, West Virginia
Pat Owen retired in 2001 from being the CEO and owner of her company Vikings Import House Inc. She also owned several gift shops but she was uneasy about the number of people who were homeless. In fact she thought she would do something positive about it and set about creating the Second Chance Society’s Hand Up Program. This program provides a way for homeless people to access the resources and training necessary to regain their pride and become self-sufficient once more.
Then there’s Ron Malec of Florida. On his retirement Ron quickly became the force driving the Keystone Halls program that assists former inmates, homeless veterans and drug and alcohol addicts to become useful in the community once again.
Jackie Rosen was so overcome with the suicide of her son that she has spent the last 25 years conducting a crusade in an effort to prevent others from doing the same through support programs, research, advocacy and education.
Two men from Melbourne, Australia, Keith Grainger and Brian McNamara, spend their retirement years acting as volunteers with the palliative care program in the Austin hospital. Mr McNamara was a flight controller in his previous life and was always active in keeping himself fit. Mr Grainger was a high school principal. They both find their present volunteer work as being very rewarding.
Webb Mckinney was an executive vice president of HP. He had spent 34 years with the company before retiring and starting a second career in the non-profit sector of the community. Today he acts as an advisor to many not-for-profit organisations which include an organisation known as RAFT. RAFT provides science and mathematical material to elementary schools in the Silicon Valley in the U.S. His efforts have now been expanded to other regions where entrepreneurs of the future are being educated.
There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of retirees throughout the world providing inspiration to many by making use of their past experiences to help others. These 15 mentioned here are only an example but they show that it doesn’t really matter what your background is or how old you are, there is always a void to be filled. Some have been corporate leaders and others not so, but what matters is that they care and are willing to put aside some of their retirement time to educate or make life easier for somebody else where there is insufficient finance available to provide the service otherwise.
Without the help of retirees volunteering their services many programs could not proceed. A big increase in this type of assistance is expected in the future as the ‘baby boomers’ start leaving the official workforce but are not ready to completely retire. Much has been said about the financial strain on the budget of many countries because of so many leaving a productive life in such numbers at the same time, but little has been spoken about the boom in volunteer work that will result if the habit of past retirees is to be repeated.
Kristy Ramirez is a debt free and frugal personal finance writer for Life Insurance Finder where you can find a complete guide to life insurance available free of charge to help you find the best policy to suit your needs.