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How to find places to volunteer in your community

May 23rd, 2013 - 3:49 PM

Volunteer! Make a difference in your community

Gandhi once said “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” If you’re hoping to get connected and make a difference in the community you’re moving to, why not start the search for volunteer opportunities. I think you’ll find that every community in the nation is looking for people willing to help out in some capacity.  

If you’ve volunteered before, you may be familiar with organizations to contact. But if you haven’t, these tips may help you find places to volunteer in your community.  

Start with what you’re interested in. Your personal interests could lead to the perfect volunteering opportunity. Do you love horses? Consider volunteering at a local organization that provides hippotherapy and therapeutic riding for children and adults with disabilities. Do you enjoy being around kids? Maybe try volunteering at your church nursery or at community mentoring program. Search the web or use your local phone book to find volunteer opportunities connected to your interests.

Get outside your interests. If you’d like to immerse yourself in something totally new and different, start thinking about what piques your interest, but isn’t exactly “your thing.” For example, if you like animals but haven’t been around them much, an animal shelter may be a great place to volunteer. You can learn how to care for animals, give them much needed attention, and be an advocate in finding them forever homes.

Ask people you know, like friends, family, counselors, or employers. They may know of an organization looking for volunteers.

Keep your eyes open. Check the community newspaper volunteer “help wanted” ads. You can also keep your eyes peeled around town for flyers on street post and community bulletin boards.

Ask around. When all else fails, just ask around! Go to different places around your community asking if they need volunteers. I recommend starting with non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity just to name a few.

Get online. There are some fantastic websites like volunteermatch.org and serve.gov that can help you find places to volunteer in or near your community.

Do you have volunteer opportunity ideas?
If you’re familiar with organizations that are in need of volunteers, or you have volunteer ideas, we would love for you to share them with our readers!