The beauty of volunteering is that while you’re helping those in your community, you’re also giving yourself a reason to feel good. In fact, some research suggests that volunteering can even help us heal. Having the intention to volunteer is great, but actually getting started is a whole other thing. There are so many organizations that could use a helping hand, and finding the one that best suits you can be tricky. To help you get started, here are three easy steps to follow.
First step: think about what you care about. We’re more likely to follow through and put in hard work when we care about why we’re doing something. Life is busy, and sometimes we can forget to zoom out at the bigger picture and take inventory of where we’d like to be a part of the solution. A helpful way to identify what’s truly important to you is to close your eyes and envision the problem you’d like to solve if you had all the money and resources in the world. This way you won’t be inhibited by doubts or worries about feasibility.
Second step: seek out others with a similar mission. Now that you’ve identified a cause that’s important to you and you’re willing to explore it further, you’ll want to research who’s already doing the work you want to do in your community. You can start by talking to friends, colleagues, and people at local shops and letting them know where you’d like to help. You may unexpectedly find that a friend is part of a group that cooks meals for food-insecure families once a week or that a local restaurant owner is involved with providing leftover food to shelters. If this doesn’t do the trick, you can consider signing up for VolunteerMatch, a free online service that helps match you with volunteer opportunities in your area.
Third step: get started. Searching for volunteer opportunities can be overwhelming and you may have lots of unanswered questions. But once you get started somewhere, you will surely find many answers and start seeing the value of your volunteer work. READ MORE
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