Dear Fellow Crafters,
Volunteering is a great way to further a cause, support an organization and make a difference in your community. It’s also a way for you to put your skills to work.
Some of the benefits of volunteering are:
- new friends and contacts
- increases your social and relationship skills
- combats depression
- helps you stay physically healthy
- can advance your career
- teach valuable job skill
- fun and fulfillment
So in the pursuit of happiness how would you volunteer and what opportunities are there for you to give your time/talent and/or treasure?
First of all, consider why you want to volunteer? Do you want to build your own skills, make new friends or learn something new?
Next choose an organization that is meaningful to you. If you feel strongly about education volunteer to be a tutor or a helper at an elementary school. Do you love reading? Local libraries have organization called “Friends of the Library”. These volunteers raise money for the library by hosting special programs, selling used books etc. If you love animals, consider your local animal shelter. Organizations exist for all sorts of reasons so if you’re into helping senior citizens, there’s an organization for that too!
Look for an organization in your area first. This way, you’ll be able to still meet your responsibilities and obligations at home. Organizations need all types of people, so if you’re not a social butterfly, office work is perfect but on the other hand,, if you’re a “people person”, you can volunteer to be on the “front lines” speaking to others.
Volunteer for an hour or two a week, that way if you like the work you can take on more hours. Get to know others in the organization and learn from them. See if there’s a training program. Ask plenty of questions and do research on the organization you want to join. I once joined a club, without doing much research and based on only one meeting. I soon found out that the match was wrong but felt guilty when I wanted to leave. Like all organizations, the “old timers” saw another person to do some work and of course in the spirit of volunteering, they cajoled me into it. So, learn from me! Research and take your time when finding the RIGHT organization to give your time and energy to. Join for the right reasons and have fun!
‘Til next time,