From as young as 5 years old my parents tried to instill good values in me by encouraging me to give back to the community. That love for volunteering took me from the young age of 5 through middle school, high school, college, and beyond to encompass many hours of volunteer work for many different charities. The volunteer opportunities I was a part of enabled me to learn new skills, share my skills with others, and have many wonderful experiences!
If you are new to volunteering I have some tips about how you can find the right volunteer experience for you.
What do you love to do in your free time? Finding a volunteer experience that incorporates one of your interests will increase the likelihood you stick with it and enjoy it. Do you enjoy gardening? Cooking? What about reading? In middle school I loved reading so I organized a book drive and donate the books to several charities. There are so many volunteer experiences that could incorporate any one of these interests.
2. Share your skills.
What are you especially good at? Can you teach others or share your skills in another way? We all have different strengths so determine what your skills are and how you can share your skills with others through volunteering. Are you a leader? Good at organizing or planning? What about teaching or taking direction? Think about how you could use your skills to help others.
3. How much time are you willing to commit?
Volunteering experiences can range from a few hours to a long term commitment. It can be a one time thing or ongoing. What is it you are looking for? You can always start with shorter commitments and try a number of them to determine what you like best. Then you can choose a volunteer experience with a longer time commitment or continue with short term ones. Do whatever suits your lifestyle and schedule best.
4. Incorporate volunteering into your everyday activities.
Volunteering does not have to take a lot of extra time. There are ways to incorporate volunteering into things you already do. If you already run, could you raise money for a charity through running a race or some other event? I've run for charities with several of the marathons I've run. Is there a volunteer opportunity with one of your children's activities you could become involved with? There could be many options for volunteer work you may already participate in. With a little extra work it could become a wonderful volunteer opportunity!
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company currently has a corporate giving campaign called Band Together. Through this campaign, they are set to donate a total of $2 million to support health, home and hunger. You can band together with Jewelers Mutual to help vote to decide how to disperse this record-breakign donation by voting for your choice os causes including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and Feeding America or Food Banks Canada.
Voting goes through July 31, 2016 at 11pm central time. The cause that receives the most votes by the end of July will receive an incredible $1 million donation from Jewelers Mutual. The runner-up will receive $700,000 and $300,000 will go to the third-place winner. But there is something in it for voters, too! Voters will be entered for a chance to win weekly jewelry prizes from STACKED New York. Each week, one lucky winner will receive a set of 3 stacking bands ($450 retail value). You can even vote daily to increase your chances of winning!