Three Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

English: Houston, TX, September 20, 2008 -- Wh...

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What if I offered you an opportunity to make connections, strengthen your community, solve problems, improve lives, and transform your own life, all for an hour of time?  Would you do it?  Volunteering is a way to do all that and more!

There are three main reasons that people do not volunteer.

1.    Lack of Time: My mom is recently retired.  She volunteers at a local grade school two days a week.  But even when working full-time she volunteered at a woman’s shelter one evening a week for YEARS.  Sometimes, when I look at her commitment, I am overwhelmed.  I fall into “paralysis by analysis”.  At times I have felt that if I cannot commit weekly, than why bother trying to help at all?!  The fact is, there are a lot of organizations, like Food Banks, that have a very small learning curve and can use assistance for just a few hours at a time.  With some diligent time management, most of us can fit in a few hours a month, quarter, or even a year to help.

2.    Lack of Focus: Trying to decide what talents you have to share can be overwhelming. Before looking for volunteer opportunities, take a few minutes to think about these questions

  1. What do you care about?  Children?  Pets?  Senior Citizens?  Homeless?
  2. What do you love to do? Interact with people?  Writing?  Reading?  Driving?
  3. How much time are you looking to invest?  Weekly?  Monthly? Quarterly?  Virtually?

3.    Lack of Opportunity: Finding the right place to help that fits with your skills, interest, and availability can be overwhelming.  However, the internet has significantly increased our exposure to opportunities.  Check out these sites if you are interested in volunteer work.  Both sites allow you to search for local opportunities and limit your search to your desired focus areas.

www.Handsonneo.org: Best for people in Northeast Ohio.  Offers a one hour training session and then hundreds of opportunities with pets, children, seniors, data entry, and more

www.volunteermatch.org: National volunteer matching organization.  Includes a variety of filter features based on causes.  Also able to search for virtual opportunities

Leave a comment and let me know how you help yourself and others when you volunteer.

Barbara Sulik

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