Ibby – VOLUNTEERING is a Lifestyle Choice

I retired from Northern Virginia Community College in 2003 after three decades of serving as a faculty member in information systems. I have a wonderful life. I live on a 10-acre farm with my partner and her son as well as our sheep, feeder pigs, chickens and turkeys. We travel. We play golf. And, I love to play pickle ball with my friends.

But, as a preacher’s kid, I felt a strong need to incorporate volunteering into the next phase of my life’s journey. I just feel it’s an obligation to give back.

I started by helping students get ready for their GED exams. I would meet them in their homes, at their workplaces, or at the local library and tutor them in math and English. It was a great way to rekindle the skills I had developed as an English teacher fresh out of school. I also worked with a large group of volunteers to build a home for a local family. It was such great fun.

And, then I volunteered as a cashier at a local donation center. When families come here to pick out furniture or decorations, it’s as though those items have been adopted into a loving home. I love the fact that these treasures don’t end up in a landfill.

I feel very grateful for the many blessings I have been given—my family, my education, my life experiences, and now my free time as a retired citizen. So, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my time and talent with those less fortunate than me.

I hope that others will find a way to volunteer during their retirement. With so many women working full-time jobs now, schools and nonprofits are finding it’s very hard to attract and retain volunteers these days. But it really is a rewarding part of life—one I highly recommend to young and old alike. If we all do a little, we can together help End the Need in Loudoun.