5 Ways to Volunteer

Volunteering is a rewarding experience. The memories you make as a volunteer will last a lifetime. One of the best benefits that is obtained from volunteering is the fact that you have made an impact on someone’s life!  Here are five fun ways you can get started in helping make a difference in your community today. Go out and try them!

1.) Animal Shelters

There are many different non-profit organizations across the U.S that dedicate their money and time to building and maintaining shelters for homeless or abused animals. However, aside from monetary donations, the animals in these shelters are also in much need of love and plenty of attention!  Volunteer opportunities vary in every shelter, but all you need to volunteer at these animal shelters is a BIG heart and lots of love. General volunteer activities include, but are not limited to, walking the animals, playing with them, and assisting with cleaning kennels. You may also be assigned to running errands that help the shelters maintain a clean and safe environment for the animals. Volunteering with animals will not only warm your heart, but you will be contributing to an under-serve area of your community. Who knows, you might find yourself falling in love with one of the lovable creatures and wind up adopting the dog or cat!

2.) Volunteer at Your Church

It doesn’t matter what religion or faith you practice, because most churches and religious congregations offer various community service opportunities. There are many different activities available at your local church and may include joining a ministry, singing for the church choir, helping out with any festivals or fundraising activities. Many times families from the local communities reach out to churches when they find themselves in need of help. Churches are not just places for worship, they often reach out to help local families as well.

Mari Ruiz is a volunteer catechism teacher at St.Thomas Aquinas Church and she mentions, “It is really rewarding to volunteer in the community, because you give your time and effort to help other people who need it and you don’t ask for anything in return.” “One of the most memorable moments that I have had while volunteering would be seeing the changes the kids in my Catechism class have had from one year and a half ago to now, how they’ve grown up and how much stronger and more knowledgeable they are of their religion.”

3.) Help at a Woman’s Shelter

Volunteering at a women’s shelter can be a very unique learning experience for a young Latina.  Jazmin Vasquez,  a volunteer for  Latinitas and local women shelters, says, “You get to know many women and hear their stories and experiences and in that sense you learn a lot from them. There is always plenty of work to go around, most of it is making sure that the person is getting all the help they can get, whether it be food, clothes or  counseling.” The experience of volunteering at a women’s shelter is all in all a positive one.

4.) Be a Youth Coach

Are you good at sports, dancing or playing the piano? Join a little league and help coach kids younger than you. It a good way to get some exercise and volunteer at the same time! You can also help coach other extracurricular activities, such as dance, gymnastics and music lessons. The point of helping those who are younger than you is to mentor them and help them achieve their goals.  Check listings at your local community centers or recreational centers. If there aren’t any listings of any activities you can coach, you can start your own!

5.) Go to a Local Food Bank

This activity you can do with a parent or older sibling. Food Banks collect and distribute food to underprivileged adults and children. According to www.worldhunger.org, in 2010,  17.2 million households did not have a secure supply of food. This was the highest number ever recorded in the United States. Donation is one option, but you can also volunteer at your local food bank by organizing a food drive, collecting food items, and distributing the canned goods. Some food banks collaborate with soup kitchen to prepare food. Ask your local food bank if this option is available. Don’t have time to organize or volunteer at a local food bank? You can scavenger your pantries and collect any unused, unexpired food items you may have and donate them to your local food bank.’

Speak Your Mind