April is National Volunteer Month. With COVID-19 reaching its one-year anniversary, it’s time to think about how we can help others who need it. Whether it be financial aid for someone who’s lost their job, or helping those who are unable to leave their home gain access to groceries and other essential items. Volunteering your time to help those who really need it is essential during these times. It is also a great way to gain skills for future jobs.
Planning Tip: How to find a place to volunteer.
- Posted volunteer ads online.
- Job boards.
- A guidance counselor.
- Posters on bulletin boards.
The goal of every charity is to help. A volunteer is someone who can make sure people get the help they need. Most charities are non-profit and need volunteers to run. This means they don't make any money. They really need people to donate their time and skills. When you are a volunteer, you are a member of the charity. When you are helping, the public sees you as a part of the cause. Be sure you are representing it well! Act how you would at work. Be polite and professional. If you are helping in places such as a shelter, remember to be kind. People who need support may be shy or nervous. A kind act can go a long way! Complete a research activity to find local charities in need of volunteers. Remember to follow safe guidelines when in public. Wear a mask, wash your hands regularly, and keep as much distance from others as possible.
What are you good at? How can you best help others? These are all things to think about before you volunteer. Is there a place you’ve always wanted to learn more about? Did a friend tell you about a great experience they had? It can be hard to decide where you want to donate your time. A good way to organize your thoughts is with a diagram. When you have a visual organizer, your choice will be clear. In this tree diagram, you will think about your choices. What are you passionate about? These will be at the top level. Examples may be animals, playing music, or sports. From each of these, draw a line. Think of some charities around you. Where can you use that skill? Who helps that group of people? Who else loves animals? You will write that underneath your skills. You should have lots of ideas of where to help when you’re done. Get out there! Have fun and be safe!