Certainly there are days when residents enjoy these and other recreational activities, as well they should. However, volunteering is an important component of many independent living communities: both within the community and outside its walls.
In a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) outside of Baltimore, Maryland, residents have raised nearly $30,000 and have given almost that much in charitable donations over the years, all by way of what started as an informal community yard sale. The program is now a full-fledged operation working out of a store located within the independent living community complex. Residents bring items they no longer want, need or use and sell them; the store is open to the public, staff members, family members, and of course the resident community. When the store is overrun with items, several residents load up their personal vehicles with the goods and take them to local shelters and charities, where they are distributed to those in need.
Volunteer work is an essential component in any healthy community, and it is refreshing and inspiring to know that residents in senior living are just as active, if not more so, in giving back during their retirement years.