So you want to volunteer?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.                (Margaret Mead)

 

Maybe you’re thinking of volunteering, but don’t know where to start. Or, perhaps you’ve done some volunteering in the past, and are looking for something a little different.

There are websites solely dedicated to providing lists of current volunteering opportunities posted by local organizations. From short-term to fairly long-term, tutoring to helping in community gardens, chances are you’ll find something that suits your interests, schedule and capabilities. Check out:

Typically, nonprofits and schools need volunteers the most and you can find these listed online:

Many of the organizations we place AmeriCorps members at have volunteer programs and could use your help. Click here for a list.

If you already know of an organization that you’d be interested in volunteering for, keep an eye on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages for calls for volunteers. Many organizations’ websites will also list the person who manages their volunteer program; give them a call or send an email and let them know you’d like to help.

fwps-2014Love service and volunteering so much that you’re ready to take on a steady commitment? Think about joining a national service program such as AmeriCorps (including VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and NCCC (National Civilian Conservation Corps) programs or Senior Corps. AmeriCorps programs typically require a 10- or 12-month commitment to serving daily, while Senior Corps programs have much more flexible service requirements. To learn more, click here.

 

Before you start searching for volunteer opportunities, ask yourself a few questions that will help narrow down what you’re looking for:

  • do you have specific interests or skills that would be a good match for a particular community need that an organization addresses? (e.g. if you have experience in residential construction, you may want to inquire with Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for low-income families)
  • how much time will you realistically be able to spend in volunteering each day/week/month?