VolunteerHub reports that one in four Americans donates their time to organizations with missions they believe in. According to a United States Census Bureau study, 62.6 million people volunteered in 2015 alone.
Volunteering, as explained Reference.com, helps the community by enabling non-profit organizations to provide food, shelter and services to the less fortunate.
These organizations can reduce costs when volunteers perform tasks that reduce the need for paid staff. The cost savings realized by volunteers also means that more money can be allocated to local improvement projects.
Volunteers provide child care and elder care to families who may not be able to afford these valuable services without help.
For example, Arizona Duo and the Alliance for Assistance to Neighbors (NCA) are neighborhood volunteer programs with a common mission to help seniors thrive safely in their homes for as long as possible.
Volunteers support seniors through a variety of services which may include transportation to medical appointments and errands, errands, meal delivery, phone calls and tours, lighthouse and yard work and respite for caregivers. Neighbors who connect with neighbors can reduce the social isolation many older people face while helping meet daily needs.
Schools are strengthened when volunteers give time and resources to student tutors, thereby strengthening literacy and knowledge. Supporting youth through mentoring programs and after-school activities helps build the self-esteem and personal growth of youth in the community, thereby encouraging them to become strong citizens and future volunteers. Contact your local school district to find out how you can serve.
What is there for you
Volunteering doesn’t have to be 100% selfless. You should also get something out of it. Indeed.com lists them among the top personal benefits of volunteering.
1. Find a purpose: Find your purpose by volunteering and being a part of something bigger than yourself.
2. Provides a sense of community: Volunteering can help you feel connected to those you are helping in the community.
3. Meet New Friends: Volunteering is a great way to meet new friends and strengthen existing bonds with your friends, family or colleagues. As a volunteer, you will typically interact with people from a variety of backgrounds, which will allow you to learn from other perspectives.
4. Increase your social skills: Volunteering gives you the opportunity to talk to new people and sharpen your social skills.
5. Improves Self-Esteem: Volunteering can increase your self-esteem and your self-confidence. When you do something that you find useful and valuable for your community, it gives you a sense of accomplishment that can help you feel more fulfilled in your life and future goals.
6. Teaches you valuable skills: The training and hands-on experience you gain from volunteering can help you learn new skills and develop those you already have. You can then put those skills on your resume to show employers how you build relationships outside of work in addition to any personal interests that may set you apart from other applicants.
7. Offer job prospects: Besides gaining valuable skills and experience, you can also meet people while volunteering who can become your mentors or at least be part of your professional social network.
8. Brings Fun Into Your Life: Many people use volunteering to pursue their hobbies while making a difference. For example, if you are interested in the outdoors, you could volunteer at your community garden or at a children’s summer camp.
9. Can Help You Be Happier: It often feels good to contribute to projects and organizations that matter to you. These good feelings can help ease the effects of stress, anger, or anxiety. Volunteering can provide the tools you need to be a happy, well-rounded person. Building bonds and relationships with the people you volunteer with can also counteract any social isolation. Many volunteer opportunities can also involve physical labor to keep you active and reduce stress.
10. Brings you out of your comfort zone: Through volunteer work, you can overcome the personal challenges of leaving your comfort zone and doing something new with people you might not know. As a volunteer, you may be faced with a variety of issues to solve that require you to exercise critical thinking skills that contribute to your personal development.
Find volunteer opportunities
Before looking for volunteer opportunities, there are some things to consider.
1. What are the causes that are close to your heart: animals, children, the elderly, education, etc.? ?
2. What skills and knowledge can you offer?
3. How often and how many hours can you volunteer?
4. Do you have the means to go to the volunteer site?
5. Do you have any physical or mental limitations?
6. What did you like or dislike about previous volunteering experiences?
Once these questions have been answered, it’s time to find an organization to lend your time to. Ask your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers for suggestions. Large non-profit organizations, and Volunteer match are useful places to look. You never know when an opportunity will present itself.
“I had never heard of Moon and stars animal rescue“Says Susan, ROTH staff member.” While my carpets were being cleaned, the technician commented on my cats – that’s why my carpets were being cleaned. He said his friend volunteered for a rescue which was in urgent need of foster families and gave me her number I have been volunteering with the rescue for over a year.
If you’re not ready to jump, take baby steps. Rather than committing to one organization for a long time, try different ones for one-off events or tasks such as a 5K, clearance sale, mass mailing, backpack filling, for example. Test drive organizations will allow you to meet volunteers, staff and learn more about their mission.
Here is a sample of the types of organizations that constantly need volunteers:
• Local service organizations (Rotary Club or Lions Club)
• Centers for the elderly
• Family shelters
• Animal shelters and rescue organizations
• Places of worship
• Youth organizations (after-school programs or sports groups)
• Community arts groups (museums or theaters)
• National and state parks or conservation organizations
• Political organizations
When you have identified the organizations and causes of interest, follow these steps:
1. Gather the details of the volunteer position.
2. Apply to become a volunteer.
3. Follow up if you haven’t been contacted within a week or two of applying.
4. Complete the required training.
5. Start with a limited commitment.
6. Regularly assess your volunteering experiences to determine if you are a good candidate.
When choosing an organization or cause, think about the people you volunteer with. Sharing a common interest will help you build closer relationships with those around you.
It’s Rosie on the Maison’s favorite charities. Please consider them when considering volunteering for organizations:
A winning neighborhood
People from diverse backgrounds who work towards a common goal build camaraderie and promote teamwork. When a community is doing well, everyone wins.
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you would like to send us questions or comments, send an email to mailto: [email protected] Follow us on Twitter and “Like us” on Facebook. For more DIY tips, visit rosieonthehouse.com. An expert in the Arizona home construction and renovation industry since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday Morning Rosie show on the House radio show. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.