Volunteering transcends assisting your community. It enriches the fabric of your life and others.
The experiences you gain through volunteering could end up as skills on a resume or make you aware of current issues being faced by your city.
Through volunteering, on your own or as part of a team, you learn different strategies for problem solving, improving your ability to think creatively.
It also exposes you to people and places you may never have thought to interact with inside your community. This interaction may give you stronger communication skills. If you are new to an area, it is a way to branch out and deepen your newly planted roots.
There are many places in which to volunteer, so where you choose to do it will vary with your own taste. Hospitals are a great place to start. With all the different offices and specialties – including hospitality services – there is a task suited for everybody. For those who come to visit patients you may serve as a clerk to the gift shop or work as the hospital barista. You can also work within special units like oncology or maternity, where you may perform clerical tasks or assist nurses.
Sometimes theatres will take volunteers and offer a variety of tasks that allow you to see the ins and outs of a show’s production. You may help run errands, or keep track of costumes and props. There is often a need for ushers and people to do administrative work, including typing, making brochures, and answering phone calls. Sometimes volunteers are used to test costumes, so if you like dressing up this would be make the ‘job’ especially fun. All play an important part to keep the production afloat, which is vital in an age where the arts are under funded, relying on the work of peoples with a passion for preserving the arts.
If you’re an animal lover, shelters provide a truly rewarding experience for volunteers. Depending on the shelter you may play with animals, take them for walks, and clean cages. Your interactions with the animals are vital in preparing them for a new life with their adoptive family. And it is certainly better than sitting alone in a cage.
Other opportunities can be found in public parks and gardens, where you may mow, keep parks clean, or assist in the maintenance of plants by watering flower or trees and pulling weeds.
There are endless possibilities. Some times you can make a difference without volunteering for an organization, as daily life presents many ways to help out. For example, if you like to walk along a roadside, you might consider picking up trash as you go, donning gloves and bringing a bag to collect the trash with. You’d be keeping your home town clean and keeping the focus of your walks on nature, not waste.
Volunteering provides a unique way to meet like-minded people while strengthening the bonds of your community.
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