This week marks the 43rd annual National Volunteer Week.
Established by President Richard Nixon in 1974, this week is meant to inspire us all to band together and make a difference. Perhaps over the years, volunteer events have begun to feel repetitive; maybe you’re not as excited about pitching in as you used to be. Knowing that you want to help, having that energy and drive is only half of it. If you want some fresh ideas for volunteer service, check these out.
- Organize a book drive.
The number of children without access to books is staggering. You can help change this by organizing or taking part in a book drive (like the Day of Action book drive this summer).
There are groups which train would-be Seeing Eye dogs who need your care! You can have an eight-week-old puppy (usually a Labrador or German Shepherd) share your home for just over a year, after which the puppy will formally train to be a guide dog for someone who is visually impaired.
- Donate administrative time.
Many non-profits have very meager budgets, but there are some things you just need to keep the ball rolling. You can donate your time by filing paperwork, balancing check books or even helping to schedule appointments. These tasks aren’t glamorous but are still an essential part of an efficient operation. By lending a hand, you are helping to save them valuable time and money.
- Become a tour guide for a local historical organization, museum or botanical garden.
The majority of museums, gardens and historical locations are made possible through donations and grants. What this means is that they need to make the most of their money and spend it wisely. By becoming a volunteer guide, you allow these places to allocate their funds to things like making updates and improvements while sharing your passion with others.
One of the biggest struggles adolescents face today is obesity. Many studies have shown the link between this health concern and children not having access to fresh produce. Planting and maintaining a garden with kids creates interest about the environment plus provides a source of fresh produce they will be proud to eat.
6. Be a mentor.
You may think that mentoring involves you teaching a kid how to tie their shoes or shoot hoops…. but it can be so much more than that. The best resource you have to offer is your knowledge. You can use your life experiences to help guide a new graduate or a young professional.
7. Volunteer at your local school.
Teachers have a lot on their plate, but by volunteering in the classroom, we can help elevate some of the burden. One way you can get involved is by becoming a ReadingPal! By volunteering as a ReadingPal, you are showing you support and helping a child build confidence.
During deployment, many soldiers get little to no mail from back home. You can act as a support system by sending letters and care packages. Reach out to your local recruiter’s office for more information.
By donating your time, you can help make a real change in our community. Don’t wait until the next National Volunteer Week, to find more ways to pitch in, visit the Volunteer Resource Center.