At the age of 90, Smiler Haynes is not allowing her age to slow her down. A retired fashion model from Boston, Haynes is a prime example of the power of giving back to the community. Despite her age, she spends five hours a week teaching reading skills to young people in her neighborhood.
According to Haynes, the act of giving back is just as beneficial to her as it is to the recipients of her teaching. She finds immense joy and fulfillment in being around young people and witnessing the positive impact she can have on their lives. Haynes firmly believes that the impression she leaves on these children could last a lifetime.
Volunteering has always been a part of Haynes' life, even when she was working full-time as a model and show producer. She credits her mother for instilling in her the value of giving back to the community. Haynes particularly resonates with a quote often attributed to Muhammad Ali: "Service to others is the rent we pay for our rooms here on earth."
Now a proud mother of four, grandmother of eight, and great-grandmother of 15 (so far), Haynes retired at the age of 62 to care for her ill husband who passed away two decades ago.
No matter how old we are, Haynes proves that it is never too late to make a difference in the lives of others. Her dedication and passion serve as an inspiration to us all.
Since retiring, one remarkable individual has dedicated her time to make a difference in her community. Engaging with local charities and her cherished church, the historic Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, she has committed herself to various causes. Particularly passionate about literacy and education, she has collaborated with esteemed nonprofit organizations such as Jumpstart for Young Children and Generations Incorporated (now known as Literations). These organizations specialize in supporting children from preschool-age and beyond. She has been volunteering tirelessly, dedicating five hours a day, three days a week, until recently downsizing to a still impressive five hours a week at the remarkable age of 82.
Embrace the World through Volunteerism
As a retiree, she strongly advocates for seniors to engage in volunteer work, not only for the benefit of others but also for their own well-being. She believes that by keeping busy and diverting our attention away from the confines of television, we open up our perspectives to the vastness of the world. Through volunteerism, we come to realize that the problems we perceive in our own lives are often minuscule in comparison.
She attests, "Move your body and you'll move your mind. Love everybody!"
Exploring Retirement and Volunteering
- Where Are the Retirees? The depressingly low retiree volunteer rate and how it can be changed.
- Traveling, Volunteering, and Working: Embracing an Unretirement Lifestyle.
- Unsung Heroes: Volunteers Rescuing Animals in Communities Ravaged by Disasters.
- Discovering Happiness and Health in Retirement: Finding Meaning Every Morning.
Retirement is not an endpoint but a new beginning filled with opportunities to make a meaningful impact in the world.
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