CLT Boomer

From the mouth of a retiree: Why I volunteer

Steve Lyttle

My friends and family think the editors of this magazine picked the right person to write about volunteerism.

As one friend said, “You’re going to advise them not to volunteer as much as you do, right?”

No. Why would I do that?

A big reason why I anticipated my retirement from the Charlotte Observer in January 2015 was the free time I’d gain to help the community. Some people have told me they’re looking for ways to help. For some reason, I never had that problem.

My grandkids’ elementary school needed a PTA newsletter. So I started one. Now I’m an officer on the Crown Point Elementary PTA.

A few months before retirement, I was elected to the council at my church, Morning Star Lutheran. Now I’m helping run the Sunday School program and a summer camp.

My son and daughter-in-law coach athletic teams at Piedmont IB Middle. I kept stats for the football team and helped coach the boys’ soccer team.

And there have been blood drives, neighborhood cleanups, and a host of other things.

More than a few times, I’ve said, “I wish I could clone myself. There’s so much more I’d like to help with.”

There are many, many ways to get involved as a volunteer. Take what you like to do, and turn that into a volunteer effort. You’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll also find it fulfilling. It’s not like a job either. If it gets a bit overwhelming, you can just take a step back.

In the coming editions of CLT Boomer, I plan to write about some of the many ways you can get away from your TV or electronic device and have some fun helping in the community.

There’s a lot you know how to do. You have years of experience. Now it’s time to have some fun putting that know-how to work, making the Charlotte area a better place to live.