How often do you volunteer your time to those who really need it? Life can become very busy, sometimes chaotic. However, the best remedy to our own busy lives it to stop and give to others. Many people have annual events that they may participate in such as soup kitchens during the Holiday Season. There are many other ways to give time and way more frequently. Volunteering does not mean taking away from yourself or your family, often times, families can also participate. It gives you a warmer heart and a sense of belongingto something bigger, if you give it a chance. Here are just a few suggestions. Check the links on this blog for more more information regarding certain suggestions below.
1) Volunteering at a Library: Did you know that the library is a very resourceful place? Depending on the community, they may offer puppet shows, movie viewing and even book signings. Parents and elders can donate their time to read a book out loud to a group of children monthly. If such a program does not exist in your local library, maybe you can contact them to get one started. To read to children is a rewarding experience.
2) Cleaning up a local park: Most people do not want to clean anything unless they are getting paid to do so or it is a contingency of their freedom. Yet everyone wants to live in a community that is clean. To clean a park safely, you may want to have a few tools such as work gloves, big garbage bags and hand sanitizer. This may not be something that parents want to involve smaller children in but older ones may learn a valuable lesson about taking care of their community. Littering, recycling and a respect for nature are all lessons that can be learned from this activity. Add some music, a few friends and intellectual conversation. This may actually be a fun activity.
3) Volunteering at a non-profit organization: Non profit organizations can always use volunteers. Companies such as The American Diabetes Association, AIDS Foundation and The March of Dimes, just to name a few have big semi annual events. They may need volunteers to stuff envelopes, make phone calls or copies. Walk season always requires volunteers on site. Volunteers greet participants, give out t-shirts, food and’or information. They are the “meat and potatoes” of the event. Normally these events take place in the fall or spring so now is the perfect time to inquire!
4) Volunteer during election seasons: If there is a politician that you would like to support, then that it is always appropriate to contact that person’s campaign team to ask how you can become more involved. With laws constantly changing, you can also volunteer to raise awareness about voter registration within your community. Most agencies have posters as well as other paraphanelia, to promote the cause.
5) Volunteer anywhere and everywhere: If you see an elder person struggling with bags to get across the street, ask them if they need help. If you see a child who looks unhappy or an adult for that mastter, speak positivity to them or simply smile. Hold the door for someone walking behind you. Give information to those who may be able to use it. Help a parent who is struggling with their children as they are attempting to get out of a store, a car, etc.
Giving your time or energy is not as exhausting as it is rewarding. Giving and not expecting to receive anything in return feeds the spirit in a way that nothing else quite can. If you have any suggestions or feedback, as always, please share in the comments box below.