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2 min read

Retired Doctor Gives Back Through Volunteering

Retired Doctor Gives Back Through Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, meet new people, and learn new skills. This certainly has been the case for Dr. Bob Kriel, a retired children’s neurologist from the Hennepin County Medical Center who has found volunteering to be a great way to stay busy during retirement.

“For me, having a routine and schedule that keeps me busy is healthy, and it’s fun,” says Bob. Not only that, but by filling his time with volunteering, Bob feels like he is engaging in an activity that’s worthwhile and gives his retirement life purpose.

For the past 20 years, Bob has been a regular volunteer at three organizations, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity warehouse, The Raptor Center, and the Como Zoo Conservatory

Bob’s passion for volunteering is contagious, and his commitment to these organizations is inspiring. Let’s take a closer look at what volunteer work Bob does through Habitat for Humanity and how you can get involved, too.

Bob’s Volunteer Role at Habitat for Humanity 

“I got into volunteering at Habitat through my church,” Bob explains. “I participated on a build site and found out what a neat organization it was.” 

Bob greatly enjoyed this experience and went on to participate in other build sites before he became aware of the ongoing volunteer positions needed at the warehouse. The warehouse is a hub for several activities. Volunteers and full-time staff work together on projects such as: 

  • Restoring old tools and equipment to be used on build sites or sold at ReStore

  • Ordering materials needed for home repairs and builds

  • Sorting the ordered materials into “kits” to be used at sites

  • Whatever else is needed that day! 

Once a week, about 40 weeks out of the year, Bob helps gather and sort the required tools and materials needed for build sites.

“It varies a bit, you know, day by day. Generally, I will receive orders and split them up. They get purchased in bulk, so large orders of screws or nails or supplies for hinges will come in that need to be split up or stocked on shelves.”

Bob will sort the bulk materials and then gather what is required to be sent out on an upcoming home build. That way, the crew is only receiving the amount of parts they need. This benefits the freight crew and is economical—no parts are going to waste!

Volunteering with Purpose 

dr bob-1-1-1Bob shares that volunteering is something he enjoys doing, and he feels fulfilled by the benefits it brings to others. “In a way, it’s kind of like practicing medicine,” says Bob. “You’re doing something you enjoy doing, and it’s good for others.”

At the Habitat warehouse, Bob shares, “About 80% of the volunteers are retired. We are all wanting to engage in a regular activity that we like, is fun, and is a worthwhile way to spend time.”

With all that he gets out of it, Bob says, “I don’t understand why everybody doesn’t volunteer.”

Dr. Bob Kriel’s story is a great example of how volunteering can be a meaningful and rewarding activity in retirement. His dedication to the organizations he volunteers with is an inspiration to many.

If you’re interested in volunteering, there are many organizations that would love to have your help. Take the time to find an organization that aligns with your passions, and make a difference in your community today!

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