How you can give back to your community with volunteering

How you can give back to your community with volunteering

Volunteering for the right organization is one of the best ways to give back to your community, while gaining valuable experience for yourself.

It’s best to look at your own interests when you’re planning to help any organization. Are you interested in the environment? Do you prefer to help in soup kitchens or shelters? It’s important to find out where you’ll be happiest before you commit so much of your time.

If you already have a wealth of knowledge in one particular area of expertise, perhaps you could find a board or committee you could join to let people benefit from your skills. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of opportunities out there to give back to your community.

School

Donating your time to your neighborhood school is one of the easiest ways to give back to your community. Teachers generally have busy schedules and often welcome any help they can get, particularly when it comes to extracurricular activity. Considering how many schools struggle with budget cuts, they usually welcome the extra help.

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There’s a wide range of ways to volunteer at schools. You could help at the library, organizing books or reading to students. You can assist with field trips possibly joining them as a chaperone. Talking to a school administrator will give you a good idea of specific volunteer policies and regulations, which will help inform what roles you may play through volunteering.

Tutoring

Students can always use help with studying, which creates another opportunity for many volunteers. Depending on the institution your helping, there are plenty of areas you can apply your expertise and skill set. You can help students with homework study groups or help with early learning programs. English as a Second Language is another area usually in high demand for tutors.

Service organizations

Organizations like Holy Cross Services typically rely on volunteers to deliver many of its programs. Places like our community kitchen or the overnight shelters at the New Hope Community Center in Lansing are regularly looking for volunteers to help men, women and children who use our services every day.

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There are other opportunities to volunteer time and talent at each of our program locations. Whether you would like to help with youth job shadowing, help with special events at one of our locations or help in one of our offices, chances are we have just the job for you. To learn more, feel free to contact us.

Sports teams

Many team sports organizations lack the bodies to run a fully staffed program, which means youth miss out on the opportunities they need. So, whether it’s community baseball, football or lacrosse, there are plenty of ways you can pitch in.

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Experience in each of sport is usually beneficial, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Many young kids can benefit from the support of coaches and mentors outside of the specific sport they’re playing. Showing leadership and sportsmanship is just as important as the specific skills that go along with each sport.

No matter which organization you choose, volunteering is an experience that’s valuable for you and your community. Whether you’re gaining new skills through your volunteer work or you’re using your own expertise to help others, the opportunity will be rewarding for both sides. Just make sure you’ve given some thought to the types of organizations that would best fit your skills and interests.

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