Regain your focus: Volunteer in 2018

Volunteering in the community creates ongoing intangible benefits for me, plus a bit of social interaction I've missed since retiring.

Other volunteers tell me they feel that they are doing something meaningful by giving back for help they or their family has received.

Maybe it's just communing with nature, as you remove litter along an otherwise beautiful roadway or working at our local library.

Importantly, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has studied the positive effects older adults derive from volunteering.

They report it not only may stop age-related shrinking of the brain, but some brains grew slightly over time. The issue is a concern for many seniors, as they cope with a world that changes and grows more complicated.

Volunteer opportunities abound in the Village. You could work four hours a week at Paw Prints Thrift Shop in VOC or at the Humane Society of Sedona Shelter in Sedona. Paw Prints earnings go directly to support our homeless animal shelter and adoptions.

The really dedicated animal lovers among us could ask for an assignment socializing cats or walking dogs. Call the Humane Society of Sedona at 928-282-4679.

Yavapai Food Neighbors Project would love some help collecting food donations every other month to bolster this already award-winning effort.

Call 928-254-8172 to join this easy effort that keeps our local food pantries continually filled. If you like my "litter" scenario above, working alone or with a partner keeping our roadsides looking good, become a Keep Sedona Beautiful Litter Lifter. Four to six hours a month is the norm.

KSB will arrange a no obligation experience for you. Call 928-282-4938. Litter removal work may sound boring but is actually very rewarding mentally and physically.

There is so much more out there in the greater Sedona and Verde Valley area. Seek out Sedona Recycles, Sedona Adult Community Center, Sedona Library, Sedona Historical Society and Cornucopia Community Advocates. Perhaps you want to get involved in the latter's ground-breaking Food Recovery Program.

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