Volunteering is a fantastic way to get involved with your community. You can meet new people, gain useful connections, and have a sense of pride knowing you are a part of something bigger than you. For students these days, colleges are looking for a high level of volunteering. Organizations like National Honor Society require volunteer hours to apply, and many scholarships center around community involvement. It isn’t always easy to find volunteer opportunities, but hopefully these tips will lead you in the right direction. 🙂
1) Utilize the Internet
>>> Sites like Volunteer Match have been set up to help people find the best volunteering opportunities based on your interests, age and time commitment. Just type in your area and look among dozens of fantastic community service missions! Personally, this site has been invaluable to me in finding ways to get involved.
2) Look next door
>>> Do you have an elderly neighbor? Perhaps a struggling family with young kids? Helping out by doing things like shoveling snow, babysitting, raking leaves, and doing housework for no cost can be extremely helpful for many. Go around to townsfolk you know might need some extra assistance and ask if they’d be willing to let you volunteer your time. Get them to sign off that you have completed X amount of hours and boom! Instant volunteering credit! Plus, it always feels great to help someone in your own backyard.
3) Take advantage of the basics
>>> There are some staples that almost every area has where help is always needed. Things like…
- the library
- food pantry
- elderly home
- children’s museum
- animal shelter
4) Join/start an after school club
>>> Many schools have clubs centered around volunteer work. They find opportunities as a group, and because of the larger numbers are able to get into more projects. Ask around to see if your school has a community service based club, and if not, start your own!
5) YMCA Leader’s Club
>>> Lots of YMCA locations have a “leader’s club” which focuses on teaching leadership through volunteerism and community service. I have friends in my local YMCA Leader’s Club who rave about the program! Check with your local Y to see if they offer the club in your area.
6) Card making
>>> Check out my previous post on where to send homemade cards to receive volunteer hours here.
Hopefully these little tips and tricks will help you in building up your volunteering resume. How do you guys find ways to get involved with your community?