Retire-To Volunteering

Host Ed Zinkiewicz uncovers engaging—sometimes surprising, but never dull— volunteer opportunities available to retirees. Interviewing volunteers and volunteer coordinators each week, Ed highlights the meaningful contributions volunteers make and also the rewards volunteers receive. Imagining a retirement that matters starts here. Sign up for Ed's free, weekly newsletter at and get listings of coming episodes.
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Retire-To Volunteering


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Now displaying: March, 2017
Mar 29, 2017

Volunteering to be outdoors is just what some retirees need!

Are you longing for your “nature connection”? There’s still time for you, a retiree, to check this off your bucket list! Volunteer coordinator, Samuel Bowman, is one of the all-star, behind-the-scene team of administrators who make sure all of Wilderness Awareness programs run smoothly and effectively with lots of volunteer helpers.

Sam joined the Wilderness Awareness School (WAS) staff in 2012 after completing the Anake Outdoor School and Anake Leadership Program. He grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Western Virginia on his family's dairy farm. From solo wanderings on the farm's 600 acres to working on the farm with the family, Sam discovered a connection and respect for the land and all that it supports. He spent many summers participating in, leading and directing summer camps, including his home church camp in Virginia and a disability camp in Iowa.

Along the way Sam learned while having a blast camping, rock climbing, canoeing, horseback riding, white water rafting and whatever else campers were interested in doing. Sam graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in philosophy and religion. While there, he continued his exploration of the world by spending a semester in India and also visiting Europe, the Middle East, Nigeria, and the Caribbean. With these adventures Sam added to his understanding of how others live and view the world.

Sam loves working with his hands. He enjoys woodworking and teaching classes of wheel-thrown pottery and animal butchering. He feels blessed to now be in a community where all of his passions and interests can be fed, used, and valued.

For additional information: Or search for camps in your area.

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Mar 22, 2017

The Nashville Adult Literacy Council teaches 1700 adults each year to read and succeed

Through the eyes of Jo-Ann Heidenreich the Nashville Adult Literacy (NALC) seems like a moveable feast! After working as a teacher and administrator for Metropolitan Davidson County Schools for thirty years, Jo-Ann began a second career as an educational consultant in more than twelve states including Tennessee. Now retired, she is volunteering at NALC—a natural choice with her previous background.

The Nashville Adult Literacy Council provides free services to their learners (both adult citizens and adult immigrants), offering classes for basic literacy (reading and writing), classes in English-language basics, GED classes at probation and parole offices, citizenship classes to prepare learners for the exam, and workplace literacy classes tailored to individual employer needs. Volunteers are crucial to the success of the program.

To learn more about volunteering with the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, call 615-298-8060, email, or visit their website

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: Be sure and visit

Mar 15, 2017

You know Ed Zinkiewicz! The host of this podcast series on volunteering, he practices what he preaches. On most Sunday afternoons, he’s at a nursing home—spooning the residents! They love it—so does he! Ed has sung and played spoons with a bluegrass band for more than 35 years. For the past 6 years, the group has been taking their gospel sing-alongs to a very appreciative audience. Watching residents who can no longer talk easily sing makes it easy for him to keep volunteering week after week. “I see their joy, and I have found joy too!” says Ed.

Ed retired from successful 40-year career as a software engineer and took his own advice: He retired to a new passion of helping nearly and newly retired persons find joy, keep up, and make friends. His three-book Retire-To series focuses on social relationships, health and wellness, and finding fulfillment after retirement: Retire to Play and Purpose, Retire to a Better You, and Retire to Great Friendships. Additionally, Ed is a speaker and workshop facilitator on issues related to life transitions, especially around retirement.

Hosting this podcast series has been a particular delight for Ed. “I love hearing so many people talk about the ways they are re-engaging with life and giving back to others. Volunteers are inspiring! What a force for good in the world they are!” For more about Ed’s work, go to

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: Be sure and visit


Mar 8, 2017

It didn’t take Bill Farris long to find his second profession. The day after retiring from the banking business, he signed on the “dotted line” as a volunteer at Nashville Tools for Schools. Following his passion to give back to the community and to use his skills with hammer and nail, Bill volunteers three days a week with a like-minded group committed to small maintenance and construction projects within our public schools. 

Nashville Tools for Schools projects range from building desks and installing shelving to other light construction jobs. The volunteer organization exists to provide the best possible learning environment for the young people and to demonstrate the community’s dedication to the educational system. Their projects empower school children, protect school resources, and save money!

Bill says, "We want to give each and every student in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools the best education possible. That means each and every student deserves the proper supplies and equipment needed for a quality education."

Over the years these volunteers have completed more than 900 projects in more than 95 school facilities. Former Mayor Karl Dean acknowledged these volunteers’ efforts by saying, “Thank you for your organization’s commitment to our public schools. The efforts of Nashville Tools for Schools are far reaching, impacting future generations of students. This type of public-private partnership is successful because of those who lead the effort. Thank you for your leadership.”

 For more information call 615.442.6837(NTFS) and/or visit

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: Be sure and visit

Mar 1, 2017

Volunteering to play golf is the ideal retirement activity for Everett

With the “eyes” of Everett Davis, David Meador (blind since 19 years of age) has not only played golf, but also won major national championships!

Everett, an avid golfer, enjoys both the game and helping those who share his passion but who can’t see the ball. Understandably, a limited-sight player requires help driving on the course and being directed to the tee, not to mention assistance lining up for a putt or approach shot. Having a sighted volunteer keeps the blind player in the game!

Most of the USGA rules apply to golfing for the blind, but, for example, the grounding of the golfer’s club in the sand trap and the line-of-putt have different rules. Everett points out that volunteers must know the game as well as the rules as well as be in good physical shape. Currently he serves as Handicap Chairman for the United States Blind Golf Association, as well as a member of the Election and the Hall of Fame committees.

The United States Blind Golf Association is an organization for individuals with visual impairments to learn, play, and even compete in the game of golf. Through youth and adult clinics and championship tournaments, the Association brings skills, values, and opportunities that make a lifelong difference. Their tagline: “You don’t have to see it, to tee it!”

To learn more about US Blind Golf Association, visit their website: Information about the International Blind Golf Association can be found on their website:

As mentioned in this episode, Ed Zinkiewicz will be glad to connect you with Everett if you want more detail from someone who has done this. Just contact Ed at

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: Be sure and visit