Carol Patterson had a list of things-to-do once she retired.
And for the SPCA, Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and the Department of Conservation (DoC), it's a good thing she did.
A former teacher who retired in 2015, Patterson has given time to the organisations she said satisfy her love of animals, children and the environment.
"I knew when I retired, I did not want to be sitting around watching television. Volunteering keeps my days filled.
"And because my husband and I travel a lot, we can't really have pets as it would be unfair to them. I get my fix of animals from the SPCA and the RDA," Patterson said.
Her volunteer work started at RDA as the club is only across the paddock from where she lives, but soon expanded to the two other organisations.
Her time at DoC sees Patterson help monitor birds, do population counts and work on Mokoia Island. She and other volunteers visit the island at least once a month.
"While not as regular as the SPCA and RDA work, the DoC work is very varied and interesting which is exciting. It also gets me outside and into the environment which is good for the soul."
Another DoC volunteering opportunity allows individuals or groups to adopt a track to look after for a year or more.
Volunteers go out at least once a quarter to maintain tracks.
Patterson said meeting new people, many of whom had become friends, was another thing she benefited from as a volunteer.
"I've met a whole lot of people from all walks of life, people I would not normally have had the opportunity to meet."
With her husband recently retiring, Patterson said she was re-evaluating her time spent volunteering but it was sure to be something she would be doing for some time to come.
Rotorua RDA operations manager Cathy Sinclair said the club would be very, very challenged to provide the service they did without volunteer contributions.
"They are hugely important to what we do and the time they gift us each week makes a significant difference to the service we are able to provide," Sinclair said.
"We do only have a small team of volunteers but we are incredibly grateful for them."
She said there were often times the RDA desperately needed more help.
"People have a perception that to volunteer here they need to be experienced with horses. That's not the case at all.
"We are always in need of funding so to have a volunteer who is great at sourcing funding would be incredible. Likewise with publicity and public relations, and even people with different skill sets for our board."
Department of Conservation community supervisor Carrie Abbott said volunteers came in a variety of ways.
"There are commercial volunteers, community groups, people that volunteer on an individual basis and people who volunteer on behalf of their iwi. Undoubtedly, without the contribution these volunteers make, our natural heritage would be in a much worse state than it is now.
"We have volunteer roles that include pest control, monitoring threatened bird populations, planting trees, track maintenance, campground management and visitor surveys just to name a few. The volunteers that help us with these tasks are truly appreciated."