If you have the time, think about becoming a volunteer for a good cause near and dear to your heart. Got time and a passion, see what our community needs done and lend a hand.
If you like to work with your hands, try being part of a team that builds homes for needy families with Habitat for Humanity. If you’re outraged about our city’s homeless crisis, try seeing what needs to be done at the Human Services Campus in Downtown Phoenix. If you love animals, try helping out at a local animal shelter. Don’t be surprised when you get a lot more out of volunteering than you ever expected.
There are so many organizations that are thankful for the help, its hard to choose any best or favorite. Below is a list of some well known organizations that need volunteers and just some ideas that may spark your interest.
Volunteering at a national park means more than just cleaning up litter. It’s enjoying the exercise and fresh air. You can explore opportunities to work at historical sites maintained by the National Park Service. Consider Alcatraz Island in California if you live in the west. It’s part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and absolutely gorgeous.
Food pantries and soup kitchens can always use a helping hand. Unfortunately during the holiday’s people are more willing to help than during the year. There are tons to do to help to organize a local food drive, raising money, or just help to hand out those meals to those in need.
Offer any specific skills you may have, such as copyediting, data entry, or even cooking, and you can be of great value to these organizations. Check out local food pantries to search for one near you – and bolster your resume with any relevant experience you may acquire.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity offers various locally targeted volunteer opportunities. Give what you can, and learn what you are willing to. Its a great way for couples to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you have – or want to develop – experience in home repair and building maintenance, check out its A Brush With Kindness campaign or the Women Build program, designed specifically to help women learn construction skills. You may learn enough to remodel your own home or help a friend.
Volunteering at the local library for a few hours a week is easy for anyone. Young or old, and reading is a gift that keeps on giving. Libraries typically need help organizing shelves and assisting patrons, and you may also be of help setting up and running public events, such as author signings and book fairs.
If you have those skills, put them to work. Want to volunteer at a local library-click here.
If you love art, this is the place to be. Don’t forget to get involved in the community by volunteering for family programs and children’s activities at your local museum. Once you build up your knowledge base, you may qualify to be a tour guide or event planner.
Contact your favorite museum to check out opportunities to help. You can also check here for volunteer opportunities at Phoenix Art Museum.
Animal Rescue Shelters
Everyone loves cats and dogs, and most of them love us. Local animal shelters almost always need volunteers. You may be able to make some connections by offering your dog walking services to the pet owners-to-be who pass through. Here’s information about volunteering at one of Phoenix’s many animal shelters.
It makes for a great part-time job, and could even turn into a full-time venture – professional dog walkers can get great money. And young or old, staying active is a bonus.
At the YMCA, you can volunteer to help both children and adults. Check your local YMCA’s website, or simply walk in and introduce yourself to find out if there are any positions they need filled, or even any one-time activities you may assist with to help get your foot in the door.
The American Red Cross offers a list of positions that can help those in need. It’s not all about giving blood, If you prefer, you can assist customers looking to do so. Your skills may make you a good fit for other tasks such as clerical work or help manage other volunteers.
There is never a shortage of places to volunteer. Free and compassionate volunteers are always needed. You will meet others with a big heart and form real lasting friendships. Who wouldn’t like new caring friends?