Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great Volunteer Opportunities For People of All Ages

By Jane Worthington

Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to your community. There are amazing organizations throughout the United States that would not function without the help of thousands of volunteers. Everyone should do some volunteering at some point in his or her lives because it is extremely rewarding. One of the best ways to pull ourselves out of a difficult time in our lives is to help others. It is also a great idea if you want to meet a new group of people, stave off boredom, or want to learn about a certain type of industry or field. Volunteer opportunities are not in short supply so whether you are interested in medicine or education, you are sure to find something that you will enjoy. Here are some popular volunteering opportunities that you can find throughout the nation:

1) The American Red Cross. This health organization does everything from taking medical equipment and supplies to disaster areas to providing one sick child with blood. If you are interested in becoming a doctor or a nurse or already have medical experience, this organization could really use you and you could learn helpful information in the process.

2) Habitat for Humanity. This organization builds homes for individuals who cannot afford to do it themselves. Professional contractors and builders donate their time and materials but it is the scores of volunteers who help nail the house together. If you do not mind manual labor and getting dirty, then this is the perfect job for you.

3) Volunteer as a tutor at the local high school or library. Several schools and public libraries have programs in place to help children practice reading. Check today to see if your library has a literacy program!

4) Animal shelters. If you love animals, shelters are always looking for volunteers to help feed the animals, walk the dogs, and help keep the facilities clean. Be careful though because you might end up wanting to adopt all the animals!

5) Environmental organizations. Whether you are interested in planting a tree on earth day or you want to organize a protest about oil spills, joining an environmental activist group is a great way to get involved.

Whether you are interested in helping organize and donate medical equipment and supplies or you want to help build new homes for less fortunate families, there are several ways for you to get involved in your community. Start volunteering today!

If you would like more information about medical equipment and supplies or EKG machines, please visit the Medical Machines Online website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jane_Worthington


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Saturday, December 6, 2008

GOOD: Get Your Volunteer On

Volunteering has helped others throughout history. Find a worthy nonprofit organization and volunteer.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities Through Friends and Family

IMG_8118 by 油姬.
Many volunteer opportunities aren't submitted to volunteer matching websites or advertised in print. How do they expect to fill these needs? They depend on word of mouth. This means they depend on members of the organization to invite others they know or meet to participate in the activity.

Many people aren’t comfortable telling everyone they know about every volunteer opportunity they are aware of. They are even less comfortable telling strangers they meet.

Who do they usually tell? They tell friends, neighbors and coworkers who have previously expressed an interest in helping.

Let others know that you are interested in volunteering. Tell them about the skills and experiences you can contribute. Inform them of skills you want to develop through your volunteer experience. Be sure they know the causes you are passionate about and desire to support. Ask them if they know of opportunities that might be of interest. Ask them to be on alert for opportunities that might interest you.

There are a couple of advantages when you discover your ideal volunteer opportunity through people you know:

  • They know you and can help you find an opportunity that will provide you a great experience. Sometimes others know us and what we can contribute better than we know ourselves.
  • It is likely you will be able to volunteer with someone you alreadyknow. This can especially help if you are new to volunteering and are nervous about getting involved.

Networking with others is critical in many areas of life. It is no different when identifying a volunteer opportunity perfect for you.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

LIVE UNITED with United Way

United Way is building a movement across America that inspires hope and creates opportunities for a better life for everyone. This movement is called LIVE UNITED.

You can be a part of the movement. Go to http://www.liveunited.org and sign up to be a part of the community.

They are also welcoming you to create your own version of a LIVE UNITED video. They have provided:

  • Background music to select from
  • Ideas to consider for your video masterpiece
  • Guidelines to follow
  • A LIVE UNITED graphic for the end

When your video is ready for the world to see, just post it on YouTube and send LIVE UNITED the link. Get all of the details at http://www.liveunited.org/liveunitedcentral.

This would be a great opportunity to unleash the hidden videographer in you. Have fun and make a difference!

Blog post originated at http://www.everydaygivingblog.com/2008/06/live-united.html.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities at Idealist.org

Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society.

At idealist.org, not only can you find potential volunteer opportunities but you can also be a part of a volunteer community.

Go to http://www.idealist.org and click on Find. You will then be able to discover the volunteer opportunities that are available to you. You will also be able to find and connect with other volunteers who share your interests.

Another feature at idealist.org is the ability to have emails sent to you when a new listing is added to their website that you might be interested in. I continually use this very useful feature for myself and others I help. Click on Email alerts at the top of the webpage and follow the instructions.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Volunteering Will Make You Happier & Healthier

John Tesh discusses in this video the benefits of volunteering. Find a nonprofit organization that shares your passion and start volunteering today.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities In Your Phone Book

phone book for finding volunteer opportunitiesYour phone book is a great place to look for nonprofit organizations that are passionate about the same things you are. You should start by looking in the yellow pages. This phone book section lists businesses by category.

Categories can vary between phone books. Depending on the cause you want to support, consider looking in these categories (or similar):
  • Charitable organizations
  • Charities
  • Community organizations/information
  • Social and human services organizations
  • Schools
  • Associations
  • Religious organizations
  • Churches

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Discover Success In Life Through Volunteering

When we focus on improving our lives, our first thoughts tend to center around what we can do for ourselves. We create a vision, set goals, read books, and take classes. We take action by implementing what we have learned to fulfill our goals and make our vision a reality. These steps are important, and I perform these steps in my own life, but our attention should not be exclusively on ourselves. Rather, we should think about how we can make the world a better place, while at the same time advancing our own goals.

You know that volunteering a portion of your time is something that you should do, but are you aware that helping others can significantly enrich your own life and move you toward completing some of your goals more quickly? Have you thought about the benefits you could receive from volunteering?

Build personal and professional contacts

Your ability to do significant things during your lifetime will grow by building a significant network. The other volunteers with whom you work will have unique abilities, experiences, and networks of their own that could aid you now and in the future. Get to know them, and support them in your unique way. They may find ways to return the favor.

Develop skills

You can use volunteering as a way to enhance your skills. Volunteer opportunities are available for almost any skill you can name. If you have a goal to develop a new skill, volunteering can be one of the best ways to make that happen. Prior knowledge is not usually required. Voluntary experience is also an added bonus on your resume. Not only can it show additional skills that you have obtained, but it also demonstrates your willingness to give back to others. This is important to companies that support their communities and adopt charities.

Share your skills with others

Mentoring is a terrific way to hone your own skills while feeling good helping others. You can help someone else add a skill to his resume and b e m ore successful as a result.

Increase your personal satisfaction

Knowing that you are doing something to make a difference in the world will increase your personal satisfaction. Being needed and appreciated for contributing your time and energy to a cause will also build your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Earn academic credit

Many colleges and universities are now giving academic credit for volunteer support to charities. If you are working on a formal education, academic credit for your time is a possibility.

Make new friends

True friends can be a great source of encouragement when needed. Volunteering provides a tremendous opportunity to build friendships with other generous people. Find occasions to learn more about them. Find opportunities to encourage them; your encouragement can be as simple as a positive word or a handwritten note. Don't be surprised if the kindness is returned at a time when you need it most.

Have fun

You have fun when you work with other caring people toward a common cause!

You will get more out of your volunteer experience than you put into it. If you are looking for a life change, consider giving to others as a part of your personal growth plan. Don't wait until you are successful to volunteer your time as volunteering can help you to become successful more quickly.

Identify a worthy cause, and donate some of your time to it. You will be glad you did.

Roger Carr is a co-author of "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life" along with Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley and many other leading experts. Check out http://www.101greatwaysbooks.com to get more information on this life-changing book.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities For National Volunteer Week

Celebrate National Volunteer Week this year from April 27 to May 3, 2008. It is a week dedicated to thanking volunteers and promoting volunteerism. It is a service of the Points of Light & Hands On Network and sponsored by Target.

There are many benefits to experience as a volunteer. Go to http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/seasons/nvw/ to learn more about the event and discover a volunteer opportunity you can get involved with.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities At PointsOfLight.org

The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network supports millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities. The organization encourages people from all walks of life to volunteer.

This is great website. When looking for a volunteer opportunity on their website, focus your attention in two areas.

The first area is Directory of Centers at http://www.pointsoflight.org/centers/find_center.cfm.

This area allows you to find a Volunteer Center near you that you can contact regarding opportunities in your community. Most of the Volunteer Centers listed have their own website with valuable volunteer opportunity information online.

The second area is Programs at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs. This area lists several National and International volunteer program that you might be interested in supporting. Most of them are specialized based on the need or the type of volunteer. For example, there is a program currently listed to help disabled people. There is also a program listed for volunteers over the age of 50.

While you are exploring the volunteer opportunities, also browse the volunteer resources and awards discussed throughout the website.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Do You Have Enough Time To Be A Volunteer?

time for volunteering

There are a number of people who apologize for only being able to volunteer one or two hours a week. Some of them do not feel like they can make a difference in such a short time. Some even avoid volunteering because they consider their potential contribution a waste of time. Does this describe you?

This way of thinking could not be further from the truth! Making a difference does not have to take a significant amount of time. You can make a change in someone's life and in the world by volunteering the time you have available.

Let me prove it to you by walking you through a short exercise. It will only take you a few minutes to do this exercise, but it will be worth it.

  1. Make a list of every person who had a positive impact on you. Think back as far as you can remember. Do not forget about your friends and family who encouraged you by something they said, leaders and teachers who taught you a critical skill, mentors who asked you thought-provoking questions and others who helped you during a difficult time in your life.
  2. Once your list is complete, write down the amount of time it took each of them to make their life changing contribution. The times may range from several years to only a few minutes.
  3. Look through your list and select those items where people helped or encouraged you in a short amount of time.

What did you discover from this exercise? You probably uncovered memories of several individuals who contributed to your life in a positive way. Many of them made their mark on your life because they cared. Also, some of their actions took less time than you are able to devote to volunteering. If others could do it for you, you can do it for others!

It is now up to you. Do not let excuses keep you from experiencing the tremendous benefits of being a volunteer. Discover a great volunteer opportunity and get involved. There are many volunteer opportunities that can use your unique passions, experiences and talents. Review the list you created earlier and consider the ways others made a positive impact on you in a short time. You could do the same for someone else. Use whatever available time you have to make a difference.

There is someone in this world who is waiting for you to donate whatever time you can afford to make his or her life a little bit better. Do not let your thoughts of wanting to have more time keep you from giving to that person today.

Go to http://volunteer-opportunities.blogspot.com/ to learn more about volunteering and how to find a great volunteer opportunity. Roger Carr is the founder of Everyday Giving.

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Mikki Williams Talks About The Benefits of Volunteerism

Mikki Williams gives a fun talk in this video about one of her volunteer experiences. She learned through that experience how important volunteering is to others.

You can learn more about Mikki Williams at http://www.mikkiwilliams.com.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities In Your Local Newspaper

Local newspapers are a great source of information regarding volunteer opportunities.

Where are they listed?

You might find some referenced in the articles, in the editorial section, and the advertisements. However, the most likely place to find the potential volunteer opportunities you are looking for is in the community calendar of your favorite newspaper.

The purpose of the community calendar is to list community events that are coming soon in your area. Some of these events can be meetings and activities of nonprofit organizations.

If you don’t have a subscription of the local newspaper delivered to your home or office, don’t worry. Most libraries have the newspaper available to read at no cost. In addition, many of the newspapers have websites. You can find many newspaper websites at http://www.newspapers.com. The community calendar is frequently on the newspaper website.

You don’t have to go far to find the volunteer opportunity for you. Take advantage of the information in your local newspaper to lead you to a great volunteer opportunity.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities From Your Family And Friends

family and friends
Who knows you well? Who shares many of your interests?

It is your family and friends.

If you are searching for a great volunteer opportunity, don't forget to tell your family and friends.

One of them may already be volunteering in a way that might interest you (he or she does share some of your same interests). Volunteering with others you know can make volunteering even more fun. It also can provide an additional motivation to stick with it.

Your family and friends can also provide you a network to help find your volunteer opportunity. They can ask people they know. They can help identify nonprofit organizations that need help. They can keep their eyes and ears open to volunteer opportunities that match your desires. All you need to do is let them know what kind of volunteer opportunity you are interested in and that you would like their help.

Don't forget your family and friends when you are ready to volunteer.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Volunteering Has Personal Benefits

Britt Bravo from the Have Fun • Do Good blog wrote a terrific blog post about the benefits of volunteering and performing acts of kindness. Her post, Got the Winter Blues? Giving May Cheer You Up, provides a list of benefits and resources.

If you want to do something for your health and happiness - volunteer!

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities At Your Local Schools

Our children and youth of today are our leaders for the future. They need proper teaching, mentoring and encouragement to bring out their full potential.

Contact your local schools and discover the volunteer opportunities that are available to you. Also, consider the following ways to help and then start thinking of other unique ways you can contribute:

  • Donate clothing. If you have children in your house, now would be a great time to find clothes that no longer fit. Donate them to a family in need or local charity. If your kids attend a school that wears uniforms, consider providing the uniforms to the school where they can put them to the best use.

  • Be a Tutor. My son is learning things at his age that I was not taught until later years. This is great for those that are able to grasp the concepts. However, there are some that need additional help outside the classroom. Consider being a volunteer tutor.

  • Be a Teacher's Aide. Teachers have a significant responsibility. I am thankful for those that teach. They should not have to do it alone. Ask a school or teacher what you can do. It might be helping to organize a room. It might be to support the school library. It might even be to help plan a school event. There are many ways you can contribute your time and be a tremendous help.

  • Donate School Supplies. The cost of school supplies can be a major burden on some families. Consider donating money for school supplies or purchasing school supplies that will help one or more of these wonderful families.

  • Adopt a College Student. Many college students do not live at home. They do not have the benefit of their own family near them everyday. For most, it is the first time they are away from home and their friends for a significant amount of time. Why don't you "adopt" a college student. Invite him or her to a home-cooked meal from time to time. Provide them a space they can get away from the campus.
The number of ways you can help students during the school year is unlimited. Seriously think about one or more ways you can make a difference in a young person's life this year. The benefits you receive from volunteering just might surprise you.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities Through VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch is dedicated to helping everyone find a great place to volunteer with nonprofit organizations. It doesn’t get any easier to find an opportunity. Go to http://www.volunteermatch.org/, type in your zip code and click on the Search button. You can narrow or expand your search by specifying criteria like the type of charity you are interested in and the distance from your zip code you want the search to cover.

When you find one or more volunteer opportunities that you are interested in, VolunteerMatch provides you the ability to submit a resume to the nonprofit organization as well as provides you the contact information needed to follow up regarding your interest.

VolunteerMatch offers detailed instructions on their website just in case you run into any difficulties or have a question.

Don’t stop at searching for volunteer opportunities. Browse the Volunteer area of their website. You will find some terrific information on the topic of volunteering. Discover the benefits of volunteering.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Expand Your Career Opportunities Through Volunteering

career business woman
Volunteering provides many personal benefits. Some of these benefits include increasing your job skills and networks. These new abilities can open up new career opportunities to you.

Many companies are discovering the value of volunteering for nonprofit organizations.

"...volunteers often sign up to network or spend time with work friends and find they've improved their interpersonal skills, their ability to work as part of a team and their ability to overcome obstacles."

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities at Work

Companies are are waking up to the fact that supporting nonprofit organizations through employee volunteering can help their bottom line as well as help the community. Your company may be one of those.

Ask your employer whether they have a list of volunteer opportunities they support or resources for you to use to find a match for yourself. Also find out if they offer incentives to employees for volunteering. The incentives might be allowing flexible leave or even paid time to volunteer (although if you get paid for the time it shouldn't be called volunteering).

"As more employees see volunteer work as a way to learn new skills or move their careers forward, volunteering has become a sort of corporate benefit. Companies are increasingly offering time off for volunteer projects, volunteer work on company time or company-organized efforts."

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities In Online Forums

As you are participating on online forums and other social networking websites, watch for bannners and links related to charities and events. Contact the nonprofit organizations you find and contact themto learn about volunteer opportunities that are available.

A volunteer opportunity could be as simple as spending time promoting the charity. The How To Find Volunteer Opportunities blog is currently promoting an event for a nonprofit organization. This opportunity was found through online discussions. Other blogs supporting the same event are:
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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Discover Volunteer Opportunities At Community Service Fairs

A great way to discover many local volunteer opportunities is to attend a community service fair. Many communities hold this event once or twice a year. These fairs are typically located at a local community center, school or mall. Nonprofit organizations set up displays and have staff available to educate you about their organization and available volunteer opportunities.

In a news article about an upcoming volunteer fair, this is what was said about the community benefits of volunteering:
"Building better communities starts with volunteers. At the Marketplace, you can find out why donating your time is a great way to build a stronger and more caring community, and a fine way to gain hands-on experience."
Consider attending a community service fair in your area to discover the many volunteer opportunities available to you.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome to the blog that will explore many ways to find great volunteer opportunities. If you want to make a difference in the world, volunteering is an excellent choice.

Studies have shown that volunteering is beneficial to your mind and heart. There are other personal benefits as well. Check out 18 Reasons to Volunteer Your Time to learn about several of the benefits.

Finding the best volunteer opportunities could be an overwhelming task. There are more than 1.5 Million nonprofit organizations to pick from and numerous skills that are needed. However, it doesn't have to be difficult. There are many tools now available to us to simplify the task.

My life has changed since being deliberate in my volunteering activities. I want the same for you.

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