How to volunteer your time and make a difference

How to volunteer your time and make a difference

Do you sometimes feel a personal responsibility to help others in your community? Well, everyone, including businesses, have the responsibility to make the world a better place. There are many reasons why volunteering your time is a good thing. You’re likely to get a lot more out of it than what you’re expecting. So, if you find yourself with some extra time, why not consider committing a few hours to volunteering? It’s something that can be added to your CV. Who knows, you might end up learning a new bunch of talents and skills.

Whether you’re looking for a volunteer job where you can show up anytime when you have a free moment or a more formal arrangement that requires a little more from you, there are plenty of ways to get involved. And finding a unique way to volunteer your time can give you a sense of accomplishment.

As a volunteer, you’ll have the ability to search for opportunities that adhere to your skills level and learning outcomes. It’s the perfect time to learn a new skill or put an existing one into practice. This is all while giving back to those in need.

Here are a few ways you can spend your time volunteering and giving back to your community.

Volunteer at your local school

Teachers are usually overworked and stressed, which means they need help. Especially this time of the year. You don’t necessarily have to help with academics only, there are many other things you can do at the school. You can read stories to primary school learners, monitor outdoor activities, facilitate on field trips or sports events, start a vegetable garden and the list goes on. Your efforts will be recognised and appreciated. Besides, kids need role models and people who care about them.

Help family members

Everyone these days is living a busy life and the needs of family members are often overlooked. As a parent raising your own kids, it’s sometimes easy to forget your own parents. You might assume that they’re capable of taking care of themselves. However, it’s not always the case. Older people are often reluctant to share their growing frailty, loneliness or isolation with their children.

Taking care of the elderly is always necessary, so think about the needs of your own family members first. You can drop by for a quick coffee, mow their backyard or walk with them to the park. You can also invite them to your kids’ sports games. It’s important to make them part of your life. If your parents live too far, go to your nearest elderly home and spend time with the people there.

Tutor a student

Students, in general, include people of all ages and not just primary or high school learners. So, you can teach literature to adults who didn’t finish school. That will change their lives forever. Or perhaps you can teach English to those who don’t have it as their first language. They’ll then be able to further interact with their broad community. Then there’s also the option to tutor academic subjects. Students usually find subjects like mathematics and science difficult. So, if you’re good at it, why not teach them a few things? Most people nowadays want to be computer literate in order to get a good job. You can teach them the basic computer skills. There are many other ways you can tutor a student, take a look at your expertise and skill set and determine what you’re good at. And that’s what you have to offer as a tutor.

Volunteer at a hospital

As a hospital volunteer, you’ll provide crucial support to health centres. You’ll offer comfort and convenience to patients, families and visitors. There are many things you can do when volunteering at a hospital. These things include everything from manning information booths, spending time with patients or working with children. You might also be asked to help with food services or pushing wheelchairs. So, go to your local hospital and make a difference.

Join an NGO

Many countries are still finding it difficult to find solutions to dire social and environmental problems. Your help is needed to overcome these obstacles. There are many community initiatives, non-profit organisations and NGOs looking for people willing to lend a helping hand. It’ll be your job to search for these places in your area. If you want to volunteer on the international scale, Doctors Without Borders is always looking for volunteers and are open for any donations. So, check them out when considering joining an NGO. You can either work in the field itself or in their offices. Depending on where you’re more comfortable and what your skills are.

If you’re still on the fence about volunteering, think again. You’ll make a difference in the lives of many. And your work will be much appreciated. Every day that passes by without helping someone in need is an opportunity missed.

Photo by danielthornton

Authored by: Pete Anderson

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