When everyone gives back to their community, the world as a whole becomes a better place. For some, giving back means cleaning up litter and improving the environment. For others, it means assisting the elderly or sick. Regardless of how you choose to give back, here are some ways to find community service opportunities in your area.
VolunteerMatch.org is one of the most active websites to connect volunteers with organizations who need help. Just enter your location in the search bar, and the site will give you a whole list of volunteer opportunities in your area. You may find a one-day opportunity to help run a fundraising event, or an organization looking for several hours or specialized help each week. You can even refine your search based on your skills and interests.
Visit Local Food Pantries
Food pantries are always in need of volunteers, but some don't have the resources to effectively advertise this need. So, one of the best ways to find out if they need hands-on help is to visit in person and ask. You may help by serving food, cleaning up after meals, or sorting food that comes in from donations.
Use HandsOn Network
HandOn Network is a network of 250 action centers through which volunteers complete service projects to benefit communities. The projects are incredibly diverse, from teaching children in under-served neighborhoods how to read, to building homes for those affected by severe storms. The group is honored by the Point of Light Monument, a one-mile walkway in Washington, D.C. Visit the HandsOn Network website to find an action center near you.
Reach Out to Local Animal Shelters
If you love animals, why not volunteer at a local animal shelter? Many need volunteers to walk dogs, socialize with cats, and perform daily feeding and care tasks. Visit your local animal shelter's website and you'll likely find more information about volunteering. Keep in mind that in most cases, shelters will require that you've had some experience with animals in the past. You may have to commit to being available certain hours each week, too.
No matter how you choose to give back, you can rest assured that your contribution will be appreciated by community members. Use the tips above to find community service opportunities in your area, and check out our article, #FrontierCares: 5 Ways to Start Serving Your Community Right Now for more ideas.