My Top 5 Volunteer Tips:
How to get started and find that meaningful volunteer experience
Many people want to volunteer or think that they have something to contribute but get deterred because they don’t know where to start looking. Surprisingly, it isn’t that hard and the most daunting part is getting started. There are lots of resources that could be helpful, but it may seem like there are too many organizations that need your help to even know where to start. Here are a couple tips to help you get started and find what will hopefully be a meaningful volunteer experience:
- Think about what you are interested in or good at. The best way to enjoy a volunteer experience is to do something that you will be good at and are interested in. This can mean starting your search with local hospitals if you are interested in medicine or enjoy being around people, or tutoring children if you are good in school and like kids.
- Think about why you want to volunteer. Volunteering can be very rewarding for a number of reasons, but the desire to volunteer should be something that comes from you, not someone else.
- Figure out how much time you can dedicate to volunteering. With the very hectic lifestyles of many people these days, a weekly volunteer position might not work out. Look at your schedule and decide how often that you can realistically volunteer.
- Think about what kind of tasks you want to do in your volunteer experience. Even though you may be good at something, you may find that there is an organization that you are interested in and it has a task that may give you a challenge. It could be beneficial to decide to do that instead of the task you already know that you are good at.
- Use the resources readily available to look at relevant opportunities. By going through the other tips you would have a better idea of what kind of opportunity you are looking for, or maybe you still don’t. You can do a general search of local organizations that are in your field of interest or use a website that features a variety of opportunities, such as Action Generation.
Volunteering can be meaningful and enjoyable so don’t get discouraged by the various resources; instead, break down the process into steps.