Childhood and adolescent obesity is often cited as the top health concern for young people in America. First Lady Michelle Obama recognizes the severity of the issue, and has made combating youth obesity her pet project. Obesity increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other health problems. One out of six adolescents is obese. Tips for parents can be found here.
Drug use, experimentation, and abuse are top health concerns for young people. According to TeenHelp.Com, more than one-third of high school teens have used marijuana in the past year, while 70% of teens have used alcohol. Also problematic for teens? Cocaine, stimulant, and inhalant use, as well as prescription drug abuse. Another concerning statistic of teen drug use is its availability — almost one-third of high school teens have reported that drugs are readily available to them at school.
It’s not just marijuana that kids are lighting up — cigarette smoking is a huge health concern for teens. Six thousand young people begin smoking tobacco every day, and one-third of those will continue their habit. When you do the math, that’s approximately 800,000 new smokers every year. And all of these are adolescents. Learn more about preventing teen smoking here.
Teen pregnancy and sexual health are an enormous concern for adolescents. While teen pregnancy has been steadily declining (a 44% drop since 1991), shows like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom are some of the most popular on television. The CDC reports that while birth rates are declining, the U.S. still boasts nine times as many teenage mothers as many developing countries. If you’re a teenager in need of education about your sexual health, click here.
Even in adolescents, child abuse and neglect are huge youth health concerns. Young girls who suffer abuse are 25% more likely to become pregnant as a teenager, and a whopping 80% of abuse sufferers meet the criteria for at least one psychological disorder by the age of 21. Another harrowing statistic? More than 90% of young sexual abuse victims are acquainted with their abuser. Child abuse happens in every socioeconomic class, and across ethnicities and genders. Learn more about how you can prevent it here.
While it’s viewed as a rite of passage for teens, driving is also a key health concern of today’s youth. Any number of unknowns exist on the open road, and young drivers are more susceptible to driving mistakes due to lack of experience. Sixteen-year-old drivers have the highest crash rate of any driving age, and death rates increase upon addition of passengers. One-third of teen deaths occur due to auto accidents. For tips on vehicle and driving safety, visit SafeTeenDriving.org.
Stress comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s a top health concern for America’s teens. Learning how to handle life’s road bumps is normal, but the amount of stress today’s teens are expected to handle gracefully is not. Stress can come from family, finances, academics, or social pressures — and can lead to a host of future medical problems, as well as acute issues. Teens are most stressed in the early evenings, and they naturally respond to their set of stressors in different ways than adults.
Being a teenager is tough. Being a teenager and being different than your peers, tougher still. Bullying, puberty, drug use, college, body image, sexual orientation: these are all issues with which today’s teen must grapple. Many teens must deal with adult stressors, and may be ill-equipped to do so; and many adolescents were abused children, whose coping mechanisms are hard-wired differently than most. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in America’s teens, and almost one-fourth of adolescents suffer from a mental health disorder, including severe eating disorders. It gets better, kids. And if it doesn’t, seek help. There are many mental health advocates trained to help you.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Finding the right guy isn’t easy. Scads of self-help books, talk shows and magazine articles are dedicated to the art of finding, and keeping, a man. Even the most fiercely independent women can find themselves searching for Mister Right, then inadvertently scaring them away with these ten early-relationship snafus.
- Drop the Premature L-Bomb – One surefire way to send a great guy running for the hills is to introduce “I love you” before he’s ready. Those three little words strike fear into even the strongest of hearts during the early days of a relationship.
- Introduce Them to the Parents – Introducing a boyfriend to your family implies a heavy commitment, which might be too much when a love affair is in its infancy. Being cautious about staging a family meeting is the best way to avoid putting too much pressure on him.
- Suggest Moving In – The subject of cohabitation is one that’s best handled delicately; on top of the initial stress of trying to combine two lives into one space, there’s always the worry about how to proceed if things don’t work out. In order to avoid that potential disaster, a man might check out early if you press the issue.
- Start Dropping Hints About Weddings – Marriage can be a terrifying concept, even for a man who’s madly in love. Though you might think that subtle hints about popping the question are harmless, he may panic.
- Any Mention of Babies – Despite an inherent biological urge to propagate the species, the thought of actually becoming a parent is staggering for most men. Sometimes the mention of “baby carrots” or “Sugar Babies” is enough to put a guy on red alert.
- Become Clingy and Needy – A man who was initially drawn to you for your independence and strength will be immediately put off by displays of neediness. Resist the urge to stick to him wherever he goes; if he feels stifled, he’ll be gone before you even know there’s a problem.
- Talk About Your Ex – Mentions of past relationships are inevitable, and not usually a problem. However, if you’re constantly comparing him to an ex, even favorably, he may start to wonder if you’re really over them. No man wants to play second string, and he may opt to leave rather than compete with a former lover.
- Ask Too Many Questions About His Ex – Prying into his past or digging for details on an ex will almost always come across as insecurity. Even if curiosity is driving you to distraction, don’t be too nosy about old love affairs.
- Get Insanely Jealous – Just like being overly curious about his exes, becoming the Jealous Girlfriend smacks of insecurity. There’s nothing sexy about a jealous rage; in order to avoid the dramatic scenes, your guy may just leave.
- Start Nagging – The old cliché of the nagging wife is a staple of sitcoms and film, but it’s not cute in real life. There’s a vast difference between expressing your opinion and becoming a nag; you wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end, and he doesn’t either.
Pay attention to your sweetie’s body language and other non-verbal cues. If a subject makes him uncomfortable, it might be wise to wait a while before introducing it again. Everyone moves at their own pace, and we all have a tendency to balk in the face of pressure.Taken From Top Dating Sites
Everyone seems to flock toward Pinterest these days, delighted by its numerous boards allowing them to bookmark Internet ephemera they find valuable and worth sharing. Numerous libraries — be they specialty, public, or affiliated with a school — have harnessed its popularity to push education and literacy causes to the digital generation. Such a strategy thankfully seems to be succeeding swimmingly. Some of the best-curated Pinterest accounts out there fuse old and new into a spectacularly informative feast for the mind. And sometimes gullet, for those who enjoy posting links to edible crafts.
By this point, the New York Public Library serves as far more than a repository of bookish delights. It also happens to be a wonderful museum of American culture, a status reflected in the eclectic pins it presents.
NYPL hosts two Pinterest accounts, with the second one showcasing its extensive holdings regarding art and design across the decades. The boards cover a nicely broad swath of mediums, from two-dimensional digital images to classic films, and celebrate culture’s myriad faces.
With 32 boards and 867 pins to explore, the Universidad Politencia de Madrid offers Pinterest enthusiasts and bibliophiles hours of joy. Content spans more than just bookish subjects, with lots of history and research tips available in both English and Spanish.
One doesn’t have to live in Fullerton, Calif., to love and learn from its Pinterest presence. While some content will only pique the interest of locals, its photos and book recommendations are sure to pique a remote user’s attentions.
The Institute of Civil Engineers in London shares its archives with Pinterest users with a jones for history, design, and other relevant subjects. Browse its boards chock full of education materials straight from its archives as well as engineering feats members find inspiring.
Presented by the David L. Rice Library at University of Southern Indiana, this account shares its new holdings, participates in “What are You Reading?,” provides links to e-books, and plenty more. Stop here to scope out some intriguing infographics and score advice on what to check out either here or at another library.
One of the coolest features of this Houston-based library system’s Pinterest is its “Book of the Day,” which showcases recommended reads from across genres, mediums, and author backgrounds. It also hosts boards with even more specialized suggestions and even craft instructions — among others, of course!
When looking for advice on which graphic novels and nonfiction books and movies about sustainability need a little look-see, head to this site by Skidmore College. The institution’s museums and faculty publications are also available for those interested in learning more about the school.
Young adult audiences are quite the hot commodity these days, and libraries the world over are clamoring to meet their needs while still keeping them learning. When looking for inspiration about multimedia treats to offer up local teens, this Pinterest account might very well prove one of the most valuable resources.
Beloved book publishers Penguin show off their English Library series, which prints 100 of the most groundbreaking, notable reads in the language. Though not a library in the traditional sense, it still makes for a fabulous Pinterest account to follow for Angliophile readers.
Another specialized library, this time zeroing in on books and other resources regarding architectural basics and wonders. Both interiors and exteriors are on display here as well, making it a great Pinterest for a broader audience.
Alabama’s Birmingham Public Library carries its educational aims into the digital sphere, with boards focusing on history, crafts, film, and other not-book subjects. However, there’s certainly plenty for bibliophiles to love and enjoy as well, especially a nice long list of recommended reads.
Multimedia buffs will absolutely adore how San Francisco’s libraries are using Pinterest to show off their impressive photo and history collections. Be sure to check out its painstaking list of books set in the city as well as reviews of its Bay Reads Books series!
Few libraries digitally merge crafts and books with the deft skill of this Alberta-based institution, whose boards mainly focus on projects to do at home and at Grimshaw itself. Parents with kids at home for the summer will especially appreciate the suggestions they so helpfully post.
Like its name implies, the Donors Forum Library mainly collects and shares books related to philanthropic and charitable efforts. Every month, it shares its latest additions for visitors either wanting to drop by or pick up suggestions about what to read next.
History buffs head here to delve into resources pertaining to California’s colorful and unique history through a variety of different media — especially photos! California State Library also keeps its followers informed about the state’s different grant projects currently underway.
Why follow just one location when the American Library Association’s official periodical makes it easy to keep track of so many at once? Cinematic fanatics will definitely appreciate its updates on the National Film Registry, and the Ask the ALA Librarian feature answers some of the most pressing, popular questions about running and getting the most out of these amazing institutions.
O’Fallon, Illinois’ passionate gaggle of librarians, share what they think readers of different tastes might enjoy . More disciplined fans might like to follow along with their summer reading series for both kids and adults.
Transportation enthusiasts could easily lose hours browsing these carefully curated boards presented by University of Texas’ Center for Transportation Library. Almost 460 pins (at the time of this writing) are available for anyone wanting to learn anything about the history of people getting from Point A to Point B.
Sacramento Public Library keeps things fun and relevant, with book lists corresponding to upcoming holidays and designated months. As with many libraries on Pinterest, it also loves sharing inspiring crafts and photos, along with a staggeringly long general compilation of what patrons should pick up next.
From Spartanburg, S.C., comes a Pinterest board wholly devoted to keeping teens occupied with healthy, skill-building activities. Pretty much all of them, for those paying attention, involve crafts of some sort the Youth Of Today can do at home or during relevant library events.
Art and literature go together like art and literature, and visitors to this Pinterest can stock up on suggestions regarding everything from knitting to typography. It’s an amazing stop for anyone looking to nurse their creativity and meld their love of books with their love of visual expression.
The librarians at University of Louisville love sharing the books and movies they think the student population might love, though their pins certainly transcend the Cardinal population! While their photograph collection has yet to even hit 10, it will still fascinate anyone who finds history scintillating.
Pinterest users wanting to follow the latest bestsellers, snag some craft instructions, read what librarians recommend, and other hallmarks of visiting the local library will love this account. It’s incredibly comfortable and cozy — or at least as comfortable and cozy as digital spaces can get.
OK, so it’s a digital library and blog rather than a brick-and-mortar deal, but Awful Library Books still merits reading. It showcases hilariously terrible design work and titles from bookshelves past, though you probably already figured that one out.
Getting out of debt is often a journey that takes many months to complete, not just a few moments. Although books and guides are great for getting started, staying on track when getting out of debt requires constant motivation and encouragement, and podcasts are a great medium for just that. Whether you're listening to financial experts, families who have crawled out of the debt hole, or the latest financial news, these podcasts offer regular, interesting insight for those who are working to get out of debt. Subscribe to these 14 inspiring podcasts to find the tools and knowledge you need to get out of debt and stay there.
Considered to be one of the most influential voices in debt management and personal finance, Dave Ramsey's show is a must-listen for anyone working their way out of debt. Listen in to learn about how to solve your real-life financial issues with budgeting, wealth building, and ultimately, financial peace.
Listen to Money Girl's podcast to find tips for personal finance, real estate, and investing, all great information for getting out of debt and staying there. This podcast is perfect for all levels, discussing credit utilization, how to raise your credit score, and items that you can save money on.
As one of the most recognized personal finance experts in the U.S., Suze Orman has a lot to say about getting out of debt. Sharing straight talk and down-to-earth advice, listen to Suze's podcast to find out what you are doing wrong financially and what you can do right.
From The Wall Street Journal, the Your Money Matters podcast is full of advice for personal finance. Check out these sessions to learn about getting out of credit card debt, working on budgeting, and even being able to afford college tuition and retirement.
Although podcasters Spencer and Lisa Ashby are no longer updating their podcast, it still remains as an incredibly inspirational resource for those seeking to find a way out of a crushing debt burden. Listen along to find out how this couple recovered from losing a business, losing their home, and going through a million dollar lawsuit.
On the Consumerism Commentary podcast, you'll learn about issues that matter to consumers, especially getting out of debt. The hosts of this podcast help talk guests through money management, economic issues, and budgeting, plus great strategies for escaping debt.
On the Man Vs. Debt podcast, Adam Baker shares his story of getting out of debt. Follow along as Baker discusses breaking free from the daily grind and finding control in your finances. Listen in for tips, success stories, and helpful interviews.
For those seeking a Christian approach to debt relief, SermonAudio.com offers an up-to-date podcast feed of the latest sermons discussing debt. Check out this podcast to find out what the bible says about battling debt.
Recorded for debt collectors, this podcast is full of helpful information on your rights as a consumer when it comes to debt collection. Find out about harassing phone calls, recording, and when you're within your rights to sue a debt collector.
Create a new lifestyle of debt-free living with the help of the JW's Financial Coaching podcast. Listen in to find a new perspective on your money, finding out how guests broke free of their debt and how you can break through your own financial barriers.
Listen to Emily Chase Smith's debt podcast to learn about dealing with big, dumb, stupid debt. Smith discusses debt negotiation, hope, bankruptcy, and repos with plenty of advice and humor.
This series from 2011 is a great resource for learning how you can go to college without loads of student debt. Attend College Debt Free discusses grants, school choice, finishing school quickly, and finding scholarships for a smart way to graduate without going in to debt first.
Odiogo's podcast offers a discussion of debt relief, especially credit card debt. Check out the Total Debt Relief podcast for negotiation skills, debt settlement, and myth-busting credit card debt rumors.
One of the UK's leading debt management companies, PayPlan shares excellent debt and credit advice to listeners. Listen in to PayPlan Debt Advice for information about mortgages, bankruptcy, debt management, and more.
Summer is the time of increased activity and all-day outdoor fun, but it can also be the season of injury and mishap when excited kids become reckless in their enthusiasm. Parents and childcare providers can spend the dog days patching up contusions and rushing to the emergency room, or they can take a few simple steps to help prevent the most common summer injuries.
- Ban Trampolines – Few backyard toys scream “summertime” quite like a big, bouncy trampoline. Unfortunately, kids run a significant risk of getting hurt every time they catch some air; The American Academy of Pediatrics even goes so far as to say that “parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines.” Falls from the surface of a trampoline can cause impact injuries, springs can pinch, tear and cut delicate flesh, not to mention the inherent risk of injury due to collision when kids share a trampoline. Supervision only allows parents or caregivers to be present immediately following an injury; the nature of trampoline play makes it almost impossible to ward off an impending accident before it occurs. Installing a net and instituting a “one at a time” rule might prevent some injuries, but are by no means foolproof.
- Use Sunscreen Religiously – Sunburns may seem like par for the kiddie summertime course, but parents should understand that they are, in fact, injuries. The Skin Cancer Foundation asserts that a single severe sunburn during childhood could double the risk of a skin cancer diagnosis in adulthood, not to mention the ease with which a “minor” sunburn can become one that blisters and causes serious discomfort. Sunburns that present with blisters are actually second-degree burns, and are absolutely preventable injuries. Apply sunscreen before kids go outside, and reapply frequently. Swimming and sweating heavily can wash away even “waterproof” formulas over time, so be sure to keep slathering it on kids that are particularly active or playing in water.
- Be Vigilant About Pool Safety – The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that almost 75% of child drowning deaths occur in youngsters under the age of five, and that an annual average of 390 pool or spa-related drownings of children under the age of 15 drowned between 2007 and 2009. Kiddie pools are no exception. During summer months, 1 child dies every 5 days in a kiddie pool. Parents and childcare providers are urged to practice “touch supervision,” meaning that they are never out of reach of a child in water. Outlaw running in pool areas, horseplay and risky activities to prevent injury, and become certified in CPR to prevent tragedy when accidents aren’t avoided.
- Keep Kids Cool and Hydrated – Sunshine and summer heat are part of what makes the outdoors appealing; free from restrictive layers of warm clothing that are de rigueur in winter, kids can climb, run and play to their hearts’ content. Unfortunately, the heat and increased activity also puts kids at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which they’re already more susceptible to than their adult counterparts. Little bodies generate more heat and sweat less, so parents and caregivers are urged to dress kids in light clothes, make sure that they stay hydrated and avoid prolonged and intense activity in the summer heat. Encourage kids to take breaks, provide plenty of fluids and keep your eyes peeled for signs of heat exhaustion, which include cramps, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and fainting. Kids suffering from heat exhaustion may also deny that they feel hot, so it’s imperative to watch for other symptoms.
- Enforce Strict Helmet Rules – Older kids may like to shuck their bicycle helmets the moment they’re out of your sight, but it’s still important that parents and caregivers do their best to enforce those rules without exception. Head and brain injuries are common causes of hospital visits for children, often due to bicycle accidents in which the head is not protected by a helmet. Make it a policy never to let your child ride without a helmet.
- Get a Mouth Guard For Summer Sports – Community sports leagues and teams are often formed during the summer months, allowing kids to play without worries about the demands of schoolwork and keeping them active during what could easily become a very sedentary, unhealthy time. Enrolling kids in these programs is a wise idea, but parents should always invest in a quality mouth guard to protect kids’ mouths. Not only does this help to prevent tooth loss; mouth guards also provide protection for the tongue, jaw and lips.
Some scrapes, cuts and bruises are simply inevitable; children at play have a tendency to trip, fall and run into things. However, the most common, serious injuries are almost always preventable, so adopt an active approach to supervision during the summer months.Taken From Summer Nanny Jobs
College campuses are ripe with innovation, as students grow through education and experimentation in school. To help foster this innovation, many colleges and universities have opened business incubators, helping students and others in their community to help make their innovative dreams a reality. Whether they’re offering tricked-out labs or incredible funding opportunities, these incubators offer a great opportunity for students who are smart (and lucky!) enough to participate. Follow along as we explore 10 of the most exciting college business incubators around today, and be sure to share your own favorites in the comments.
At Rochester Institute of Technology’s Entrepreneurs Hall, innovation is a way of life. Offering a “holistic entrepreneurship program,” this residential community has entrepreneurship at every step of the college experience. Within the community, residents get access to co-ops, mentoring, courses, and always-on access to the incubator. Students will even receive a minor in entrepreneurship as they develop their own business plans. Even students who aren’t in Entrepreneurship Hall can join other innovators at Rochester, in the Center for Student Innovation lab where they can tinker with new ideas, creating physical models and getting advice for their next steps from advisors and even other student participants.
At Boston University, there’s an incredible array on business incubation opportunities. Boasting resources for life sciences, bio-tech, medical devices, photonics, clean energy, and engineering, BU can help to incubate businesses in just about any physical technology. Only 15 technology startups are accepted at a time, but what the program lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Participants in the incubation program learn valuable lessons in entrepreneurial management, finding financing from incubator companies, modern office space, and fully permitted labs with a wide range of technical equipment and engineering resources. Boston University’s business incubator has produced numerous success stories, including HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals with two drugs in Stage 2 clinical development to treat blood disorders and viral-related cancers, as well as Modular Genetics, a biotechnology company focused on sustainable gene engineering.
Students at Syracuse University have an incredible resource to tap into with the Syracuse Student Sandbox. This program offers resources from beginning to end, offering office space, in-house technical support, experienced mentors, and valuable funding resources. The Sandbox is designed to accelerate the process of business creation through a 12-week experiential-based program, producing either investment-ready firms or ready-to-go, revenue-generating entities. Although Syracuse offers a heavy amount of help, students are able to maintain 100% equity in their companies, making this a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded Syracuse students. Current participants include Craftistas, CrowdRouser, and Flat Shoes Tattoos.
At the UC Davis College of Engineering, students with high-impact, innovative ideas can find a way to speed them up into the marketplace. This incubator is all about supporting technology transfer, sharing learning experiences with students, providing professor support, and facilitating partnerships and collaborations with other groups on campus, like the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship. This year, the ETTC graduated its first company, Dysonics, a startup based on audio technology research. Dysonics secured $750,000 in funding from angel investors to develop products that will reproduce three-dimensional, immersive sound in headphones.
At the Harvard i-lab, it’s all about innovation, as participants take part in entrepreneurial activities to learn, launch, grow, and even support others in creation. The program features classes, workshops, and more, plus essential resources and advice for getting business ventures off the ground. Even established ventures can get help, with growth resources including dedicated space and focused support. Some of the i-lab’s long-term residents include mobile app ActivePepper, baby gear rental company Baby Buggle, and software developer Rover.
In partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Innovation Depot offers a facility and program for technology business development, focusing on biotechnology, life science, information technology, and technology service businesses. With a next-generation facility offering both office space and laboratory space full of amenities, it’s a great place to locate a technology startup. Successful companies currently taking part in the Innovation Depot program include Panorama Public Relations, R&D trainer Gas Technology Institute, and tech support company Radical Support.
This business incubator takes innovation to the water, functioning as an “economic engine” for Eastern Long Island’s aquacultural, environmental, and agricultural industries. The location of this incubator is key, as it’s right off of Long Island Sound and located close to many nature preserves. Plus, it’s within a designated NYS Empire Zone, so the incubator has benefits and incentives available to program participants, including investment tax credits, wage tax credits, and even exemption from sales tax. Within the building, you’ll find plenty of tricked-out lab space (including both fresh and salt-water access) for innovation, plus conference and event space for tenants.
In the Motor City, technology startups can turn to the super-cool Tech Town incubator, a program created by Wayne State University to reignite Detroit’s entrepreneurial culture. Founded in 2000, Tech Town boasts an incredible list of resources for tech-minded entrepreneurs, including work space, access to capital, educational workshops, and guidance with business development programs, coaching, and mentoring. Entrepreneurs working with Tech Town even get access to Wayne State’s significant research, academic, and technology assets. Although decidedly urban in nature, Tech Town boasts 12 blocks, 43 acres, and a rich history: the TechOne building was once the Chevy Creative Services building, and the Corvette was designed on the building’s third floor. With nearly 300 companies working under its roof, participants in the Tech Town program contribute to the growth and livelihood of Detroit and the Wayne State University community. Even established corporations can’t resist the attraction of Tech Town: the Henry Ford Health System relocated its genetics labs to Tech Town’s research space.
This tech business incubator hits early, even before participants are in college. Founded by a 15-year-old (now 19), Teens in Tech Labs is a tech incubator for teens with Microsoft backing, and it’s designed to give young entrepreneurs a space to get their great ideas out with a whole lot of support. Nearly 1,000 young entrepreneurs have been touched by the program, through events, workshops, and conferences. Based in Mountain View, Calif., with hubs in New York City and Boston, Teens in Tech Labs has opened up its incubator to young entrepreneurs worldwide, making it possible for teens everywhere to take advantage of the tools and resources available.
NYU-Poly has not one, but four business incubators, boasting incredible support for fledgling businesses in the greater New York City area. Its first, Brooklyn Enterprise on Science and Technology (BEST) helps science and technology companies grow with a student patent program, intellectual property commercialization, help from business advisors, and funding recommendations. Varick Street focuses on next-gen technology and adaptable business models, growing businesses in digital media, cleantech, and even social media and mobile apps into real life successful startups. Through NYC ACRE, NYU-Poly builds clean tech and renewable energy companies, sharing resources for physical and virtual tenants, while offering guidance and business assistance. Most recently, NYU-Poly has introduced DUMBO, a city-sponsored business incubator in Brooklyn created to support the development of technology startup businesses. Boasting an awesome view of the Brooklyn Bridge, event space, coworking areas, and plenty of guidance, DUMBO is one of the most up and coming places in the city to start a business. Participants can even take advantage of networking opportunities, discounted legal and accounting guidance, guidance from NYU-Poly faculty, and office hours with well-known entrepreneurs.
Finding a job that helps you make ends meet is great, but finding one that helps you make a real, lasting difference in the world can be even better, especially for those who have always dreamed of a career in the nonprofit or social services sectors. Luckily, there are a number of incredibly useful sites on the web that can help you network, share your resume, and find nonprofit job openings in your area. We've shared 25 of them here so you can get your nonprofit job search started on the right foot and hopefully find a job that lets you make a positive impact on the world and your community.
Idealist is perhaps one of the best places to start your search for jobs in the nonprofit sector. The site offers a wealth of listings that currently points job hunters to more than 8,000 job openings worldwide.
If you're looking for a job that offers you more than just a paycheck, make sure to check out Opportunity Knocks. The site focuses on job searches in the nonprofit sector, allowing users to post their resumes, search for work, save their results, and even take advantage of other career resources.
If you're qualified to work in the upper echelons of a nonprofit, then this site should be one of your first stops. It's full of great jobs for executives and directors at nonprofits around the nation.
CareerBuilder is not only useful for finding corporate jobs, it can also help you to land a nonprofit job. Take advantage of the portal the site offers for thousands of job listings.
When you're done catching up on all the latest philanthropy news, head to the Chronicle's jobs section to start looking for a great nonprofit job.
Several nonprofit management centers from around the U.S. work together to pool job listings on this site, making it an excellent place to look for the latest openings for nonprofit work.
Lumity hosts this site, which allows you to hone in on a particular state or area for your nonprofit job search.
You can search through postings from nonprofit organizations on this basic site, allowing you access to dozens of great positions in places all over the U.S.
You might not find job listings here, but learning more about this organization should be an essential part of your job hunt, as the networking opportunities it offers are invaluable.
While this site is focused on older adults, the job listings it hosts can also work for those who are younger and looking for meaningful work.
Philanthropy Journal isn't just a great read, it's also a smart place to look for nonprofit jobs.
The Council on Foundations offers a useful career center that boasts job listings, job alerts, and the ability to post your resume.
Find out how to connect with recruiters and nonprofit employees through this site. You can also look through numerous job listings by title or state as well.
Craigslist may not be the first place you think of when looking for a new job, but it's actually home to a wide range of nonprofit listings.
Through this search portal you'll find listings for jobs at big and small nonprofit organizations all over the U.S.
Head to this site to look for jobs and board positions at a wide range of nonprofit organizations.
Not only will you find job listings on this site, you'll also get access to great career advice, articles, and a referral program.
execSearches is another website focused on finding people for top positions in nonprofit organizations.
This Foundation Center site offers hundreds of job listings, including some with organizations like the March of Dimes, PETA, and Feeding America.
A collaboration between Monster and The New York Times, this website is full of great career advice, inspiring interviews, and, of course, a nonprofit job search.
Independent Sector can help you learn more about nonprofit groups throughout the U.S., as well as offering job listings and board positions.
On this site, you'll simply choose a state and start looking for a job that will help you to change the world.
You can create a profile on this site that will let you showcase your resume and research for new jobs. You can also create job alerts so you'll know right away if something in your area of interest comes up.
Use this job search tool to help you sort out the best jobs at nonprofits in the U.S.
Live in New York? Want to? This site can help you to find a great job in the nonprofit and civic sectors within the Big Apple. There are a number of similar sites for other cities in the U.S., so be sure to check out any that apply to areas you'd like to live.
With budgets tight, many schools are hoping to bring technology into the classroom without having to shell out for a device for each student. A solution for many has been to make classes BYOD (short for "bring your own device"), which allows students to bring laptops, tablets, and smartphones from home and to use them in the classroom and share them with other students. It’s a promising idea, especially for schools that don’t have big tech budgets, but it has met with some criticism from those who don’t think that it’s a viable long-term or truly budget-conscious decision. Whether that’s the case is yet to be seen, but these stories of schools that have tried out BYOD programs seem to be largely positive, allowing educators and students to embrace technology in learning regardless of the limited resources they may have at hand.
- Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy:
This Florida college prep recently expanded its BYOD pilot program to include sixth through 12th grades. The school’s teachers have all expressed enthusiasm about how BYOD can enhance student learning, but each teacher has his or her own ways of using the devices in the classroom. Some teachers were using the tech for polling, some were looking up visuals or art techniques, others even taking pictures of assignments and notes on the board instead of writing them down, and still others using e-books to look up information. No matter how teachers were using the devices, the response has been largely positive, both from teachers and students. What can Holy Trinity teach us? That when it comes to BYOD, it pays not to be overly strict with how the devices can be used in the class, as greater freedom allows teachers to work with students to develop the best uses for technology for their subject matter and teaching style.
- Forsyth County Schools:
In recent years, Forsyth County Schools in Georgia have created an acceptable use policy, beefed up their infrastructure, and developed a pilot BYOD program that will soon roll out to all of the schools in the county. Yet Forsyth did one thing differently: they let each school determine individual rules about how and when BYOD tools will be used. As a result, the program isn’t the same for all schools, with students able to bring their devices to school at all Forsyth County schools but only allowed to use them in the classroom in 10 of the schools. The district has found that increasing technology in the classroom has come with some unexpected strings attached and has also necessitated the training and hiring of teachers who are willing to play the role of facilitator, letting students lead their learning. Administrators at the school say that it’s been a challenge to get all teachers on board but that they’re working hard to help them learn new ways of interacting with their students. The Forsyth pilot program illuminates both some of the pros and the cons of BYOD programs. BYOD requires much more than just changing tech policies and can sometimes mean overhauling the curriculum and spending money training teachers, though it does help students create a more personal and memorable learning experience.
- Mankato Public School System:
Cash-strapped MPSS in Minnesota joined the Bring Your Own Technology movement in 2011 as a way to bring new educational tech into the classroom without having to radically change their budget, something that the school didn’t really have the means to do. Director of media and technology Doug Johnson literally wrote the book on bringing technology into the classroom (it’s called The Classroom Teacher’s Technology Survival Guide) and he thinks that the program has been working great so far, allowing the school to free up resources for other things and to provide technology for kids who don’t already have access. At Mankato, the BYOD program relies heavily on Google Docs and other tools that aren’t platform specific and that serve information to any Internet-accessible device, which points to one of the biggest problems with BYOD: managing a variety of different tech platforms. It can make things tricky, but not impossible, and Johnson believes that with the right infrastructure and bandwidth in place, students need little support to get up and running.
- Allen Independent School District:
When Allen Independent School District in Texas wanted to move its schools into the 21st century, it decided that one great way to do so without breaking the budget was by allowing students and teachers to bring their own tech tools into the classroom. Currently, just high school students are allowed the privilege, but others may soon be allowed to bring their own laptops and mobile devices as well. The school district has clearly defined their goals for the program and limited the freedom and range of devices in the classroom as well through an acceptable use policy. Students can only use devices during times that are approved by teachers and cannot use class time to troubleshoot tech problems. While the AISD program has been largely successful it does demonstrate that some of the problems that can arise with BYOD policies. Students can access restricted materials through a 3G plan, technology can cause distraction in the classroom, especially when it’s not working, and the IT required to support such a wide range of devices comes with a significant price tag.
- Oak Hills Local School District:
Oak Hills Local School District in Ohio has rolled out a BYOD program that permits both students and staff to bring in their own devices. The school jumped on the BYOD bandwagon because they believe using technology in the classroom will help to prepare students for work in the 21st century world. Before rolling out their program, OHLSD created a strict acceptable use policy, though what students can do is addressed just as much as what they can’t do. The school has shared articles documenting every part of the process of creating a BYOD plan on their blog, teaching others who are interested in the process how to do everything from build a portal to develop a physical infrastructure and staff that can support these devices. In addition, they’ve been carefully monitoring how the system is being used, finding that Android devices are used the most, followed by iPods, iPhones, and iPads. One of the coolest aspects of the OHLSD program? The school also built a virtual desktop system which can be accessed through any device students or teachers bring into school. So far, the virtual desktop and the BYOD program has saved them $1.27 million. The lesson here? BYOD programs are not only great ways to bring tech into the classroom, they can also save millions that can be used for other essential school programs and services.
- Hopewell Valley Regional School District:
Administrators at Hopewell Valley in New Jersey decided to stop trying to battle cell phone use at school and instead decided to integrate the phones into lesson plans for eighth-graders and high school students. Teachers and administrators have come up with some creative and fun ways to use the phones, from staging quiz shows to allowing shy students to ask questions. The move was both a cost-saving measure and a way to allow more flexibility for learning in the classroom. Administrators at the school acknowledge that students will likely use the phones for non-academic purposes at times, but the school doesn’t want to dwell on potential negatives, instead focusing on the amazing educational opportunities they can offer. Students are excited and, surprisingly, so are teachers, who are 80% in favor of the new tech policy. HVRSD teaches us that while cell phones can have drawbacks in the classroom, they can also be an asset, and even teachers can get excited to see them out and being used.
- Katy Independent School District:
Cell phones had long been a classroom disrupter at Texas’ Katy Independent School District, but the school decided to change that, starting its own phone-based pilot program in 2009. The school handed out 125 HTC smartphones to fifth graders at a single school that year, making a few major changes. The phones had no calling or texting features and were referred to by the school as "mobile learning devices." Teachers reported that students were immediately more engaged and pulled into learning, whether they were taking notes, putting together presentations, even charting the stars. The school hasn’t tried to push the devices onto teachers who weren’t ready to try them out, but they have expanded the program. They’ve added more phones, upgraded the infrastructure, and just this year, allowed students to bring their own tech into the classroom. The results have been amazing. Not only are kids more interested in learning, their test scores are up, especially in math. The experiment with BYOD at KISD demonstrates that while technology can be a distraction, it can also be an amazing learning tool that can not only interest students but also help them to become higher achievers.
- Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District:
Students at New Jersey’s MARSD are allowed to bring in any mobile device they own, whether laptops, smartphones, or tablets. Teachers are reporting that students had an instant change in engagement, becoming more actively involved and working better together than before the program. The school has so far tried to create an environment that’s supportive of students and teachers, focusing on the fun and innovative ways the technology can be used rather than the potential pitfalls it might have. Administrators have said that their success relies heavily on staff training, strong infrastructure, and trust of students and teachers. So far, the results have been great, and some schools in this district have even added Nooks to the library that students can check out, loaded up with ebooks and other reading material. The key at these schools? Treating teachers and students with respect, extending trust, and being willing to embrace technology without many of the standard reservations.
- Middletown Township Public Schools:
Middletown Township Public Schools in New Jersey have recently rolled out a BYOD program. Instead of just laying out the rules and expecting students to follow them, the school district encourages students to take the lead, inviting them to make videos that demonstrate acceptable and unacceptable use of personal phones and computers. Middletown is also home to some seriously cool applications of mobile technology in the classroom as well through their BYOD program. Each year, students can take part in the Middletown Elementary Tech Challenge, which showcases projects that were produced using tech devices in the classroom. There’s also the Expo at Middletown High School, where more than 85 elementary through high school students teach technology classes and showcase technology applications to parents and community members. These innovative ideas are perhaps the best takeaways from the MTPS program, demonstrating that BYOD programs offer much more than a chance to use tech in the classroom- they teach real-world skills, too.
- Escambia County Schools:
The BYOD program at Escambia has been lauded for how it emphasizes Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliance through its carefully worded acceptable use policy. As part of this, administrators in the district have established a "guest path" on the network to avoid students encountering sensitive data and to keep them safe. Booker T. Washington High School, a school within the Escambia district in Florida, has a new pilot program this year that opens up BYOD for ninth through 12th grade. The school is hoping that the added technology can be easily integrated into the curriculum and that it will be easier for students to access information that they can then apply to solve problems in the classroom. Because the district believes that BYOD programs can be confusing, they held a forum for parents before this past school year so that parents could ask and get answers to any questions they might have. While it’s too early to determine if the BYOD program at Escambia schools will be successful, they’re setting an amazing example by working hard to keep students safe and on task and involving parents in the process.
Whether you’re filling in a small patch in your lawn or seeding a whole new landscape, the grass seed you choose for your project will make a difference in the results. That’s why it is important to understand the different factors that should influence your choice of a grass seed for your project.
- Climate. Grass seed companies create their seed mixtures based on what grows best in different regions of the country. Grasses are first distinguished as being Northern or Southern grass. In addition to these geographical divisions, the grass is further classified by climate, such as: humid, tropical, semi-arid and transitional. If you are buying your grass seed locally, you should not need to be concerned with this, as the seed companies will only be shipping the type of seed into your area that fits the region. Should you choose to order seed from outside your area, you will want to make sure that you select the correct seed for your region and climate.
- Sunlight. All grass types need several hours of sun or partial sun each day, but there are some types that can survive better in partial shade than others. If you have areas that are full sun and others that only receive partial sun, you will want to take this into consideration when choosing your grass seed. If you have some areas that are always heavily shaded by trees, you may want to increase the sunlight by removing some of the lower tree branches. Or you may also consider planting another type of ground cover that will thrive better in the shade.
- Patching. There are a couple of considerations in this area. If you are patching, what is planted in the area around the patch? It would be preferable to use a similar mixture. If you are unsure of what was used for the lawn, select your seed based on the amount of sun and the amount of traffic expected for that area.
- Lawn wear. Is the area of the lawn that you are seeding going to experience heavy foot traffic, or will it be more of an untouched carpet? Some types of grass, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, will not hold up as well under traffic, but are great for low traffic area, like a front lawn. It would not be the best choice for a play area or near the edge of a patio.
- Lawn care. Some seed handles drought conditions better than others. If you have a large lawn and your lawn does not have an irrigation system, this can be an important consideration for you. Will you be able to provide the moisture needed for the lawn if the summer months get especially dry?
- Choices. Most grass seed will come labeled as a ‘mixture’ or a ‘blend’. The two terms both indicate that there is more than one type of grass seed included, but there is a difference. A Kentucky Bluegrass mixture will have mostly Kentucky Bluegrass seed, along with a variety of other types of grass seed. Kentucky Bluegrass blend will have only Kentucky Bluegrass, but contain a blend of different Bluegrass varieties. If you are looking for the highest consistency in the look of your lawn, the blend will provide that. The mixture is generally considered to be the stronger choice because of the variety of types.
- Cost. Grass seed is often on sale, but as shown in this article, price should not be your only consideration. Look for the proper mixture and a high quality seed. The highest quality grass seeds will be labeled as such by the Lawn Institute.
Following these basic guidelines will help you choose a grass seed that will provide you good coverage, when planted in good soil.Taken From Lawn Care Service
How you take care of your child’s teeth now will determine what kind of smile they have when they are an adult. When a child is born they already have their 20 baby teeth present under their gums. Some babies are even born with teeth exposed or their teeth come in very early. Every child is different. The average age for a baby to start getting their teeth is 6 months. By the age of 3 most children have all 20 of their baby teeth.
Babies can get cavities. The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends that you start cleaning your baby’s gums when they are just a few days old. Dampen a square gauze pad or a soft wash cloth and rub gently across your baby’s gums. When teeth start to appear use a child’s size toothbrush and water to brush your baby’s teeth. As soon as your child turns 2, start brushing with a pea sized amount of toothpaste and have your child spit it out when done. You’ll want to ask your dentist or pediatrician if you should use fluorinated or non fluorinated toothpaste. This will depend on if your child is able to spit, if your tap water is fluorinated and if you give your child fluoride supplements. Parents should continue brushing their child’s teeth twice a day until she can take over the brushing on her own, which is usually around age 6 or 7. As soon as she has two teeth that touch you will need to help her floss her teeth daily.
ADA recommends that you take your child to the dentist around their first birthday. After their initial visit you can ask your dentist how often you should bring her back. This visit is to allow your child to start getting familiar with going to the dentist. Your dentist will inspect her mouth and make sure everything is healthy and to check for cavities. The dentist will clean her teeth and make any suggestions to you regarding caring for her teeth and gums.
Cavities can be caused by bacteria transferred by saliva from the mother’s mouth. For this reason it is not recommended that you clean your baby’s pacifier by putting it into your mouth or that you eat off of your baby’s spoon during feeding time.
Baby teeth are important because they hold spaces for the permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early the permanent teeth can drift into the open space and then come in crooked. Your dentist will use a spacer to hold open the spot where the baby tooth was lost if it is lost too early.
The proper technique for brushing is to hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and brush back and forth covering each tooth. Brush all surfaces of the teeth. Your child should brush her teeth for 2 minutes. Flossing should be done once a day. Make sure to brush her tongue to remove bacteria and to get rid of bad breath. Tooth brushes should be replaced as soon as the bristles start to fray or every 3 months. It’s also a good idea to replace your child’s tooth brush if she has been ill. Rinsing with a fluoride rinse at the end of brushing is also a way to prevent cavities, should your child’s dentist recommend doing so.
As soon as your child has molars the dentist may put a sealant on them. The sealant fills up the crevices on the surface of the teeth that are more likely to get a cavity. It does not hurt to get sealant put on your teeth and it is often covered by dental insurance. Your dentist will also give your child a fluoride treatment during their exam, but this treatment is optional.
Your child’s diet can affect the health of her teeth. Even watered down fruit juice is bad for your child’s teeth. Water should be offered instead of sugary beverages. Sticky foods like fruit snacks or raisins can also have negative effects on your child’s teeth. Once your child has brushed her teeth in the morning, when she drinks or eats afterwards have her rinse her mouth with water a few times. She should avoid eating after she’s brushed her teeth for the night.
To keep your child’s teeth and body healthy it’s important that they are eating a healthy diet. According to MyPlate, which is the new food pyramid, fruits and vegetables should make up half of your child’s diet. At least half of the grains that she consumes need to be whole grain. Proteins should be lean when possible, eggs, beans, chicken breast, lean beef and fish. Dairy is very important to build strong teeth and bones, but make sure you are choosing low-fat dairy options.
For babies, avoid putting anything other than milk, breast milk, or formula into a bottle. Never put a child to bed with a bottle. This can cause bottle rot or baby bottle tooth decay, which is very damaging to young teeth. This condition usually only affects the front teeth, but has been known to affect other teeth. Encourage your child to drink out of a regular cup by their first birthday. Extended use of sippy cups is also not recommended.Taken From Au Pair Jobs
Bird watching is a relaxing and educational way to spend time with the children in your care; however you need to have a way to entice the birds to come to your backyard for it to be an engaging experience. The best way to draw birds to your yard is to add a birdfeeder outside. While there are several different kinds of birdfeeders that are available for purchase at different stores, many children will enjoy making their own feeder to attract the birds. Here are a few simple birdfeeders children can make.
Pinecone birdfeeders are appropriate for kids 3 and older. Go for a nature walk and see if you can find some big pinecones. Once you have a few pinecones, you’ll need to gather the rest of your supplies. You’ll need: yarn or string to create a way to hang the feeder, safety scissors to cut the string, peanut butter, craft sticks, newspaper, a paper plate, and some bird seed. Lay out some newspaper to cover your work surface. Next, tie the string onto the top of the pinecone to create a way to hang your birdfeeder. Pour some birdseed onto the paper plate. Using your craft stick, cover the pinecone with peanut butter, making sure to get plenty into the crevices. Now roll the pinecone onto the plate full of birdseed. Sprinkle the birdseed with your fingers to make sure the whole pinecone is covered with seed. You’re done! Find a tree branch to hang your birdfeeder from where you will be able to watch the birds enjoying their snack.
Necklace birdfeeders are simple enough for kids 2 and up. This is one way to use up some leftover toast and cereal. If you don’t have any leftovers you will need some stale or toasted bread, Cheerios or other round cereal, string or yarn, safety scissors, and a straw or pencil. Start by breaking up the toast or stale bread into 4 pieces. Using the straw or a pencil, poke a hole in the bread leaving about an inch between the hole and the edge of the bread. Now thread the string through a toast piece and then some cereal and then another toast piece until you have a necklace the size you want or until you’ve used up the toast and cereal. Tie the ends of the string together. Go hang the necklace in a tree and wait for your new feathered friends to come and enjoy some breakfast in your yard.
Recycle a plastic jug to use as a birdfeeder, good for kids 5 and up. Younger children can do parts of this project, but will need help when it comes time to do any cutting. Start by washing the plastic jug and removing any stickers or labels. Using a marker, draw a circle on the jug about 2 inches up from the bottom (younger kids can trace around a lid). Take a utility knife and start a hole for your child to cut the circle out. Using safety scissors cut out the circle. Dry out the jug completely because otherwise the seed will mold. Screw an eye hook into the cap of the jug in order to provide a good place to hang the feeder. Thread some string through the eye hook and create a loop by tying a knot in the ends. Next, decorate the jug using paint, markers or foam shapes. When the jug is decorated, fill the bottom up with about an inch of birdseed. Now your birdfeeder is ready to hang in a tree. Empty and clean out your feeder about once a week to keep the birdseed fresh.Taken From Babysitting Jobs
While breastmilk is the most nutritious and healthy choice that parents can make for their new baby’s diet, there are times when breastfeeding simply isn’t feasible. When medical conditions, personal choice or other circumstances require that your infant be fed formula, the vast array of options on the market can be staggering. Commercially available infant formula comes in several forms, and contents vary based on the specific requirements of an infant with special dietary needs.
There are three common infant formula preparations commercially available today: powder, liquid concentrate and ready-to-use. Powder formula is often chosen due to its relatively low price and is favored by earth-conscious new parents due to the fact that powdered formula cans take up less room in transit, and in the garbage. It does, however, require a bit more time and concentration to prepare, which might be less than ideal for 2 A.M. feedings. Powdered infant formulas are designed for parents and caregivers to mix only the amount needed for a specific feeding, which help sin reducing waste. Cans generally have a one-month shelf life after they’ve been opened.
Liquid concentrate infant formula is more expensive than the powdered variety, but almost always cheaper than its ready-to-use counterparts. Preparation typically requires parents or caregivers only to mix equal parts of the concentrate and water, which makes the process a bit less labor-intensive than preparing a powdered formula variety. Like ready-to-use products, liquid concentrate formula is commercially sterile when it arrives in your home.
Ready-to-use or ready-to-feed formulas are generally the most expensive commercial option, but they require no mixing or measuring. Parents or caregivers that are concerned about access to safe, clean water to mix a powdered or concentrated formula can opt for ready-to-use because it eliminates such worries. Containers of ready-to-use formula require more space for storage, as well as more room in landfills if consumers don’t have access to recycling programs. Furthermore, the formula only has a shelf-life of 48 hours after opening, and may be more likely to stain than other feeding options.
Types of Available Formula
In addition to the three main forms that infant formula is available in, there are a variety of options regarding nutritional content and allergens. Parents should speak with their pediatrician before switching an infant’s formula, but should also have a basic idea of the different options on the market.
The most common type of commercially available infant formula is cow’s milk based, though the proteins are altered in order to make it easier for babies to digest. As a general rule, babies tend to thrive on a diet of cow’s milk based formula; carbohydrates, protein and fat levels are balanced almost perfectly for the majority of tiny tummies.
Some infants may have difficulty digesting cow’s milk formulas, or parents that are hesitant to place their new baby on a diet that contains animal proteins. In such cases, soy-based formula may be the best option. Lactose intolerant babies also do better with soy-based formula, which is also often suggested to the parents of colicky babies. Evidence supporting claims that soy-based formula improves symptoms of colic is largely anecdotal, however. Roughly half of babies that have milk allergies are also allergic to soy, so be prepared for the chance that a switch to soy-based formula makes no discernible difference.
Babies that have a number of allergies or aren’t able to absorb the nutrients in formula well may benefit from being switched to an extensively hydrolyzed formula, in which the proteins have been broken down into smaller parts. These formulas may also be suggested by your pediatrician if your child is suffering from eczema or other irritating skin conditions.
Low-birth weight and premature babies require specialized formulas that are higher in protein and calories than other varieties, containing medium-chain triglycerides that are more easily absorbed than other fats. Formulas thickened with rice starch are generally suggested for babies with reflux problems, which often aid in the prevention of reflux symptoms.
While the advertising budgets of nationally recognized infant formula brands may help to boost their visibility, they do not contribute to improving the quality or nutritive value of the formulas themselves. Because infant formula is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, generic brands are held to the same standards as their designer counterparts; more often than not, parents shelling out extra money for name-brand formula are only paying for that name. Comparing the ingredients and nutrition information on the labels, parents can make an informed and frugal decision about the formula to feed their brand new bundle of joy.Taken From Newborn Care
Monday, July 30, 2012
People are living longer, healthier lives than previous generations, which means your retirement years could last a lot longer than you think. And if you’re smart (or just lucky!), you may have figured out how you’re going to keep your finances in shape for the rest of your life. But have you thought about how you’re going to keep yourself entertained? You’ve just freed up at least 40 hours out of your week, so it’s time to find something you really enjoy. If you don’t take time to do what you love now, when will you? If you’re looking for a place to start in your quest for the perfect hobby, try one of these eight activities that retirees love.
After working for 40 years, retirement can sometimes make you feel like you don’t have a purpose anymore. You don’t get up and go to work every morning to make money and provide for your family, so what are you contributing? This is a hole that is easily filled by volunteering. Choose a cause you’re passionate about or one that uses skills you already have, and you can feel good about the way you spend your time in retirement. Check community bulletin boards, ask around at your church, or search the web for organizations looking for help.
You’re probably spending a lot more time at home now (unless you’re one of those RV-ing retirees), so it makes sense to beautify your property as much as possible. Whether you want to strive for a prize-winning rose garden, want to give your house some curb appeal, or have the desire to grow your own vegetables, gardening can be enjoyable, fulfilling work. You’ll have to get your hands a little dirty, but the end result will pay off.
If you can grow your own vegetables, why not also make your own beer? Beer brewing is easy; you can start small with a kit purchased online and work your way up to bigger, better equipment as you get the hang of it. You can try your hand at different stouts, ales, and lagers, and share the rewards of your hobby with friends as you sit around talking about how awesome retirement is. And don’t worry about overdoing it; you don’t have to get up for work in the morning!
Many retirees, particularly those who just finished working very structured jobs, see the coming years as the perfect time to flex their creative muscles. There’s no more worrying about profit margins, uptight bosses, or whether your time would be better spent advancing your career, so let your imagination run wild. Sign up for painting classes, get a sketchbook, or find a pottery wheel and put your hands in some clay. It’ll help you relax, even if you’re not any good!
This one’s another creative endeavor, which can be perfect for anyone if you choose the right writing project. Many retirees, for example, might enjoy writing their memoirs now that they have time to reflect on their lives. Even if you have no intention of getting it published, your memoirs can be a great gift to leave behind to your children and grandchildren. It could even end up being passed from generation to generation. Poetry, short stories, and research-heavy non-fiction can also be great side projects to consider.
Though you need some equipment to get started, woodworking is a favorite among retired people who are handy with a hammer. You can make furniture and dozens of other home accents using your favorite wood, and give the extras to family and friends. If you’re just getting started, get to know the guys at your local lumberyard, and make sure you have a few essentials, like a circular saw, a power drill, a jigsaw, and a sander. Some communities even have woodworking clubs you can join so you can share equipment and stories over the buzz of your scroll saws.
Puzzles, like crosswords, Sudoku, and any kind of brain teasers, are a great idea for retirees. You’ve got a lot of life left in you, so it’s important to keep your mind sharp for your next 20, 30, or even 40 years. These types of puzzles have been shown to stave off Alzheimer’s, and the earlier you start, the better for your brain. If you get really good, you could even compete in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament with the fastest puzzle-solvers around.
For those of you who kept putting exercise off because you were too busy, you’re out of excuses now. This is the time to find an exercise that you actually enjoy and stick with it. Don’t get discouraged if you try a few activities and still don’t like them. There’s something out there for you that will keep you active for years to come. Try bicycling, swimming, golf, or an aerobics class for starters.