Volunteers are Awesome!
Volunteering is a great way to further a cause, support an organization, and make a difference in your community. It can also be an opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills. If you'd like to give something besides money, consider lending your time and talents to organizations that are important to you. It is an opportunity to serve.
The intangible benefits alone—such as pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve. In addition, when we share our time and talents we:
• Solve Problems
• Strengthen Communities
• Improve Lives
• Connect to Others
• Transform Our Own Lives
5 Steps to Get Going
1. Consider why you want to volunteer. Do you want to help the world or your community? Do you want to build your own skills, make new friends, and learn? Do you love what you do? Do you want to share your gifts with others or give something back? Examining these sorts of questions can help you to choose the right direction for your volunteer work.
2. Choose an organization that is meaningful to you. If you feel strongly about literacy, for instance, volunteer at your local library or find out if there is an organization of volunteer tutors in your area. There are organizations doing all sorts of work, and it is especially important with volunteer work that you choose something that you value.
3. Start small. If you already have a busy schedule, volunteer your time for an hour or two per week or perhaps one day per month. (Just about anybody can free up that much time easily. Try turning off the TV!) You might be surprised how much you can accomplish in even a little bit of time. Then, if you find you enjoy the work and have more time to pursue it, gradually take on more.
4. Get started. Ask plenty of questions and do your research, but until you sign up and get your feet wet, you won't know if volunteering for a particular organization is really right for you.
5. Have fun! You will accomplish more if you love what you do, and chances are good that your enthusiasm will infect others.
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