Being a volunteer is a rewarding experience, a personal choice made by one’s free will without expecting to receive anything back but the satisfaction of helping others. There are many different ways to spend your time volunteering; this goes from helping the homeless, immigrants and refugees, all the way to lending a hand to drug addicts, disabled people or at risk youths. Some volunteer work can also be focused on the environment, emergency response or animals in need. The point is, there are many ways to help others and spend your time volunteering to suit your areas of interest or possible expertise. Being a volunteer also has some other perks like constant training, learning a new skill sometimes, receiving guidance and support, earning credits as a volunteer and being treated with respect doing a job that makes a great difference in people’s lives. Here we have some of the most needed volunteering positions; places and fields that are in constant need of willing and able volunteers to continue providing a service. Remember that the majority of these organizations wouldn’t be able to exist without a strong volunteer workforce.
Taking care of the injured and ill and gathering as a community to deal with health issues, is considered one of the oldest volunteering traditions in the United States and it dates back to the colonies. As a matter of fact, this is how hospitals eventually came to be, from clinics, which were dispensaries that transformed from early health committees made up of volunteers.
No matter your age or skillset, there are volunteering positions at different levels at hospitals that can be right for you. Volunteers can do all kinds of non-clinical tasks like run errands between different departments, answer phones, run magazine carts through patient’s rooms, socialize with families and patients and help with surveying them about their experience in the facilities. Hospital volunteers do need to meet some strict government regulations like background checks, health clearances and some specific vaccines and screenings. Normally you can expect to make a commitment of around four hours a week for six months, but this may be different depending on the hospital, city or state. For instance, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago requires volunteers a minimum commitment of a three-hour a week shift for six months.
Help build homes through local charities.
Habitat for Humanity alone, offers a wide choice of programs to volunteer through. You can help in your local community or volunteer abroad going on different trips that last as little as a week or even up to twelve months experiencing a different culture around the globe while helping fellow human beings. Some special programs are focused on helping women and children, veterans or helping renovate existing homes. The volunteering positions are tailored to give people in all walks of life an opportunity to help out. Teachers with their students, military members with their families, veterans and just about anyone interesting in lending a helping hand can join and make a difference. Some of these charities also have programs to help out in disaster relief and cleanup efforts in emergency affected communities locally and abroad.
Tutoring in after school programs.
These programs are usually geared towards at risk youth living in inner-city communities and it focuses on helping them achieve their academic goals by providing time and mentoring efforts from volunteers. These program volunteers can come from the ranks of local citizens, teachers or even fellow students who want to volunteer their time to helping other students in need. Tutoring can be highly rewarding at a whole different level and it can save lives when implemented in communities ridden with risks for their young members of society. Children can be greatly benefited by learning leadership skills and being able to reach their full potential to make a difference in their lives and succeed academically and even professionally in the world.
Volunteering at a food bank or a Homeless shelter.
This type of activity allows you to volunteer as an individual or even as a group. It can be done as a family, with co-workers, classmates or any type of club or social gathering you belong to and wish as a whole to donate time to help others. Here you can help sorting food for packaging and delivering, sort donations from food drives and stores and also serve food to people in need. The program is famous for their holiday food drives and fundraising events during these special dates. In a prosperous country like the United States we still have the issue of 1 of every 5 children going to school without enough to eat. It is important to talk about hunger and what it means to our society, and these types of programs are meant to face the issues head on. Use the opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life, even in your own.