Volunteering is an activity we all say we're going to do when we have time. But as our jobs become more demanding and we just want to chill or sleep in every free moment, it never appears to be the right time. But volunteering, just like exercise and brushing your teeth, is something we can all integrate into our busy schedules. It gives us a moment to forget about our worries and do something good. Here's how to get started, today.
Do some research.
Figure out what cause you are interested in. Do you like animals? Babies? The elderly? Food? Try an animal shelter, a day care, a nursing home, or a soup kitchen. There are people that need volunteers everywhere. VolunteerMatch is a great site to get you oriented and help you find local events.
Fit it into your schedule.
In this modern age, volunteering no longer has to be a physical act. At CreateTheGood, you can get ideas about how to volunteer right from your computer, wherever you are, whenever you want. You could be a language translator or operate a crisis hotline. The site also gives you DIY project guides to help inspire you to do good. If you're going to physically volunteer, make sure to schedule it regularly. Think of it as part of your routine, like a class for your soul.
Find a friend.
Like starting a diet or new exercise regime, it always helps to have a buddy. Volunteering is that much more rewarding when you have a friend (or make a friend) to share the experience with.
Be open and engaged.
You might think you only want to volunteer to care for dogs at an animal shelter, but you might be surprised to find your hidden passion for arts and crafts. Volunteering is about expanding your mindset and learning about how you can be a part of different environments, seeing people in all walks of life.
Put your skills to the test.
Make a list of all your skills and then think about how you can incorporate them into your volunteer work. For example, if you're the fastest typer you know, you might want to help an elderly professor with his next groundbreaking book. But also don't limit yourself to your skill set. There's always room to learn new skills!
Keep a record of the things that make you smile so that you can look fondly back on your volunteering and remember them whenever you have a bad day. Make connections with your newfound community and keep those connections strong. You can also take photos to share and blog about your experiences to inspire your friends.
When you start volunteering, you'll start to understand yourself in a new way. Moments of selflessness give us perspective and make us wiser and more caring. That's enough of a reason to start volunteering right now. Pay it forward, and good karma will be sent your way.