Volunteer Work

There is little that’s nobler than volunteering one’s time for the sake of helping others. When most folks think of such work, they either think of hospital candy-stripers or convalescent home aides. There are, however, a great number of areas that would benefit from the talents of volunteer workers. Everyone has some natural talent or ability, which means that everyone has something to offer. When considering volunteer work, find something that taps into your natural gifts. Most companies and organizations will be happy to accept someone who’s willing to offer their time without the benefit of a paycheck. Here are some ideas that you may not have considered.

Some folks have a naturally clear, soothing voice that would be perfect for reading aloud. If such is the case, consider contacting an organization that promotes reading to the visually impaired. There are radio stations that are committed to such an endeavor, and applications are accepted from those who are interested in providing this type of service. If openings are available, you’ll be called in for an audition and, if accepted, given a time slot during the week (or more than one) in which to do the on-air reading.

If knitting is your forte, consider establishing a knitting group in your neighborhood, dedicated to mentoring those who would like to learn this skill, or those who simply enjoy the activity. This will not only provide a new social arena for yourself, and others, but can also be integrated into the spectrum of volunteer work by donating the items that the group has knitted to a local charity or shelter. If you prefer, you can invite only those within your particular age range, or send an open invitation to all who might be interested. Keep an open mind – you might be surprised by how many men enjoy knitting!

When local fairs or celebrations take place in your neighborhood and you find yourself becoming involved in the area of entertainment – such as face painting you’re a good candidate for doing volunteer work with children. Contact your local hospital (this works particularly well when there’s a children’s hospital in your area) and volunteer your services to entertain the pediatric patients through the art of face painting. Not only will you be bringing your natural talents to the table, but the kids will just love it, and it will help to take their minds off of their health issues for awhile.

Piano players have something to offer to the community, as well. Contact a children’s center or orphanage in your area and offer your services as a piano teacher. You can donate your time while utilizing your natural talents and the children will both enjoy the activity and develop a new skill at the same time. Another benefit of this type of service is that the kids will have something to carry with them into their adult lives, possibly utilizing it in a professional capacity, or simply by passing on the benefit of your teachings to help others in the same way. Of course, this concept would work well with any musical instrument but is less feasible when you consider the need for students’ instruments. Any such institution that has a piano on the property would be ideal for this type of service.

There’s a place in the volunteer community for woodworkers, as well. Most of any facility that serves the public has an ongoing need for the creation or repair of furniture or other wood-related items. By offering your talents in this area, you’ll not only be providing a much-needed service, but you’ll also be helping the particular organization to save monies that can be used in other areas of need. This idea would be particularly beneficial in scenarios such as convalescent homes, orphanages, senior centers, and any community club that may benefit from such abilities even Community Theater. There’s an ongoing need for backstage workers to create props and such.

Should you find that you have a bit of time on an ongoing basis, consider the benefits of volunteering your time to support scouting. Both the boys and girls sections of scouting look to the adult community to volunteer as Pack Leaders, Den Parents, Assistants, and so forth. If you happen to have a scouting background, this would be an added perk, but those who don’t have prior scouting experience aren’t disqualified. Contact your local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop to discuss the possible services that you might be able to offer.

Those who have a fondness for animals can volunteer their time at a local animal shelter. With the great number of pets that are deposited at these facilities each year, there’s always a need for those who would be willing to assist in their caregiving. Whether it’s helping with feeding, bathing, walking, or just spending some quality time with the animals, you’ll be helping to relieve the paid staff, giving them time to perform other duties that they may not, otherwise, have time to address. Your presence will also provide a less stressful environment since the necessary tasks can be divided up among more people.

If you’re not as comfortable in structured environments, you can still offer vital services to those in your community by offering your time to fulfill the needs of senior citizens in your neighborhood (or others who may be homebound). Offer to be their personal shopper, read the newspaper to them each day, or drive them to doctors’ appointments or any other critical service that they need to have performed. This can extend to the exterior of the home, as well. Perhaps they need to have their lawns mowed on a regular basis, or the trees and shrubs might be in need of a good pruning. If you’re not personally acquainted with any seniors in your area, you can speak with the administration of your nearest senior center. They’ll be able to make introductions to the members of the community or will, most likely, allow you to post something on a bulletin board, offering such volunteer services.

Yes, there’s something for everyone to do who’s interested in volunteer work. Whatever your reasons for wanting to contribute, making a difference in the lives of others are what it’s all about.

Yes, there’s something

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