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Every year, AARP Foundation helps millions of struggling older adults 50 and over win back opportunity. We couldn't do it without the generous support of individuals and institutions.

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The Three Vs of Volunteering

Learn how valuable, versatile and vital volunteering can be

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to volunteering. Some folks come to the volunteering experience to share their expertise; others want to learn something new as they're helping others. Either way, there are almost as many kinds of volunteer activities as there are people to do them. Enthusiasm counts almost as much as experience in most volunteer jobs, and plenty of organizations need help.

Related: Why I volunteer with Tax-Aide

For example, if you want to help older people, AARP Foundation and AARP offer a myriad of opportunities. You can help older people update their driving skills through the AARP Driver Safety program. If you’re more of a numbers person, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is always looking to add to its 35,000 volunteer corps. If you’re not sure which nonprofit in your community could use your assistance, guidance is available from AARP Create the Good.

Of course, some people are happier helping four-legged friends, and there are opportunities galore out there. Love dogs? Consider volunteering at a local shelter. Want to help horses? You can do almost anything, from pitching out stalls to teaching low-income kids to ride or putting on horse art shows. Interested in something even bigger? You can help landscape elephant sanctuaries and prepare their food or care for rescued elephants in Sri Lanka.

Actually, way beyond the sky is literally the limit  — amateur astronomers all over the world help scientists track and map stars.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which keeps track of volunteer efforts in the U.S., food-based activities and fundraising are the most popular activities: 22 percent of volunteers engage in one or the other. Religious organizations draw the most volunteers, followed by educational or youth service organizations.

There’s an almost equal split between volunteers on how they got involved in volunteering: 41.6 percent got involved after the organization asked them to help, and 42.1 percent became involved on their own initiative.

What’s certain is that very few organizations ever have enough volunteers, and they are always looking. If you’re not yet one of the 64.5 million Americans who volunteers, why not consider it now?

Next: Volunteering is vital for the recipient and the volunteer. >>

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legal cases

Find the most recent cases in which AFL has advocated in courts nationwide for the rights of older persons, and filed AARP’s amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that help courts decide precedent-setting cases.

Programs & Services

AARP Tax Aide

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

This program offers free assistance with tax-return preparation. Go

Couple standing outside home, Create the Good

Housing Solutions Center

This program offers free HUD-certified counseling and assistance to 50-plus homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. Go

AARP Foundation Finances 50+

Finances 50+

This financial capability program is a collaboration between AARP Foundation and Charles Schwab Foundation. Go

Medical team at a computer, AARP Foundation Back to Work 50+


We are partnering with workforce services providers to strengthen the bridge between 50+ job candidates and respected employers. Go