There are a lot of people who would like to volunteer but don’t know where to start. Actually, there are a lot of opportunities to volunteer, whether you want to give your service individually or together as a family. Doing good together can be a family bonding activity that brings you closer to each other while volunteering on your own can help you know yourself better and help you meet other like-minded souls. By using your talent, skills and money, you can help a lot of people in your community, the country and around the world as well.
1. Search the Internet for ways that you can volunteer. There are a lot of organizations that advertise how you can help through their websites. Thus, the best and easiest place for you to start your search is to go online.
2. Go to a local soup kitchen or food bank to offer your services. They are always in need of more hands to serve the hungry.
3. Teach children at the homeless shelter how to read. They will appreciate the time and effort you invest in them so they can learn something that a lot of children take for granted. You are equipping them with the skills they need to survive.
4. Volunteer your time to play with children at the homeless shelter. These kids know the realities of life at an early age that sometimes they don’t know what it’s like to have fun anymore. The times you spend with them to have fun may just be the balancing force they need to keep from depression. You can bring your volunteering to the next level by teaching them how to play sports like baseball, basketball or even swimming if you can use a nearby pool for practice.
5. Give food to the homeless in your community. You don’t even have to volunteer at a shelter. Sandwiches that you and your family have prepared for those who obviously need it will be greatly appreciated.
6. Go to a retirement home or nursing care facility for the elderly and see what you can do for its residents. Sometimes, a dance presentation is enough to bring a smile to their faces. At other times, they’ll appreciate it if you just read to them or teach them computer skills. Sometimes, they might just appreciate it if you will help them with their tax returns. There are so many things you can do to help brighten a senior’s day.
7. Find opportunities to volunteer at the school where your children attend in. They might need a soccer coach, for example, and you happen to be pretty good at the sport when you were in college. Or they might need one parent to help chaperone a group of students representing a spelling bee competition in another district. These activities only ask for a little bit of your time and effort but will be greatly appreciated by school administrators, teachers and students.
8. Spend time tutoring immigrants English. There are immigrants who make the move to the United States with only very basic or even no knowledge of English. Knowing the language will help them get jobs so they can survive and later on, even succeed, in the country.
9. Devote a little of your time to a women’s center. You can do a lot for abused and neglected women in these centers. You can empower them by teaching them their rights. You can give them moral or emotional support. You can assist those facing cases against their abusive husbands. Whatever you do, there are bound to be a lot of things you can do for women who are at their most vulnerable.
10. Volunteer to do work at the office of a cause you support. Whether it is to do clerical work like filing documents or cleaning the office or helping them with a computer program, your service will certainly be appreciated. It will also go a long way towards helping the organization fulfill their goals.
11. Campaign for your favorite charity. Ask the organization you support if you can wage campaigns online or offline to ramp up support for them. By making more people aware of its goals and aspirations, you get to encourage them to give monetary support which will help the charity greatly.
12. Volunteer at a crisis center where women bring their children when things get a little too difficult for them. These centers serve as refuge areas for women who are already desperate and have nowhere else to go. Because of the time you spend with them, you give these women another lease on life.
13. Help uninsured families with medical care. Understandably, not everyone can do this but every little bit you can do will help, whether it is a dollar amount or groceries just to ensure that the children’s day-to-day needs are taken care of. If you are a doctor or healthcare professional, you can give your services for free.
14. Care for the animals at a local animal shelter. These abandoned animals need your love and affection, too. Volunteer your time to bathe them, clip their nails and feed them.
15. Join marathons for a cause as a family. There are different kinds of runs organized year-round by groups supporting various causes—from cancer awareness and research to environmental conservation. Register and join together with your family. Not only will you be helping, you will also benefit from the exercise as well.
16. Volunteer for organizations that serve people. These can include the Rotary Club International, Habitat for Humanity and others. You will get the chance to help those who are poor and build homes for those who don’t have shelter.
17. Give legal services for free if you’re a lawyer. There are a lot of people who are defenseless because they can’t afford to pay for attorneys. If you are lawyer, you can give your services to those who need it pro bono or for free.
18. Be a writing coach at a public library. You will have the opportunity to mold young minds and even help inspire others to pursue a career as an author or writer. You’ll never know the spark you are able to generate by this simple act of volunteerism.
19. Volunteer to care for orphans for a time. It’s understandable if you can’t adopt kids as the process can be expensive and time-consuming. However, you can still make them feel special by taking them out for a day or letting them stay in your home during the holidays. These children won’t forget the good you do even when they are already grown up.
20. Spend time with families of kids receiving treatment for serious diseases. This can be a very difficult period for the parents of these children. Just knowing that you are there for them can help them pull through.
21. Volunteer at children’s cancer wards. There are different things you can do here to help entertain these kids who are receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy. You can read them stories or show them magic tricks. You can also act as clowns and present a funny show that would bring a smile to their faces.
22. Act as translator for immigrants who don’t speak English. If you happen to know another language, you can always volunteer to act as an interpreter to facilitate understanding. It’s not easy to be in a new country where you hardly know anyone else. Not understanding what people are saying is even worse, especially when you are at a hospital and you can’t comprehend what doctors are telling you. By volunteering as a translator, you help them in more ways than you can imagine.
23. Help grow a community garden for those who are very poor. A garden with vegetables and herbs will help those with financial difficulties put food on the table when there is really no money left.
24. Volunteer at a center for those who are mentally challenged. Doing so will help you appreciate what you have and teach you patience at the same time.
25. Hold a garage sale and donate the proceeds to your favorite charity. If your closet is about to burst because of the many clothes, shoes and bags you have in there, consider selling some of the stuff you haven’t used in years. Then give the money you have raised to the cause you really believe in. If there are pieces of furniture that you haven’t used or plan to discard, you can just give them to your favorite charity instead of throwing them away.
There are many ways to volunteer if you just take the time to search for them. Sometimes, you don’t even need to actively look. All you need to have is just a compassionate heart to understand when someone needs help. When the opportunity presents itself to give your services, don’t hesitate to give it. No matter how little the act of kindness is, you will have planted a small grain of goodness that will just keep on multiplying into even more good deeds.
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