Volunteering is one of those aspects of life most of us wish we could find time to do more often. Even when you start with good intentions, you might find volunteering falling further and further down your to-do list when your schedule gets hectic and other responsibilities intrude into your reality. However, giving back to causes you support and helping others who have fallen on hard times is an excellent way to stay motivated, boost your mood and keep your life moving in a positive direction.
Look for Online Opportunities
Online volunteer opportunities often offer more flexibility than the ones you sign up to do in person, so they can be easier to fit into a packed schedule. If you volunteer through a website or app, you can help out whenever you have a few hours of free time. If you work or go to school all day, you can squeeze in some online volunteer work at night.
If you have some marketing expertise, offer to support a nonprofit’s social media, e-newsletter or website development. If you don’t see those kinds of volunteer opportunities posted on the organization’s website, email them and offer to help. Or, if there’s a school subject that’s always come easily to you, you can sign up to be an online tutor through an organization like Learn to Be.
Use Volunteer Opportunities to Create New Bonds
Doing group volunteer work like painting a school, weeding a community garden or building a Habitat for Humanity house is one of the best ways to bring your friends, family members or co-workers closer together. You’ll get all the feel-good benefits of doing something positive in your community, while making memories that will last a lifetime. You might even decide to make volunteering a regular occurrence among your group.
Do One Good Deed a Day
If you feel like there are never enough hours in your day to accomplish everything you want to do, you can work volunteerism into your life by starting on a smaller scale. For example, if you’re walking down the street and see litter on the sidewalk, pick it up and toss it in a nearby trash or recycling bin. Give a stranger a compliment, or pay for the drink order of the person behind you in line at the coffee shop. Once you get in the habit of doing something small every day, you’ll begin to see more and more opportunities for helping others.
Volunteer at Work
Have you ever felt like your work responsibilities were holding you back from putting in volunteer hours? What if you could volunteer at work? Organizations like Visit.org create employee-driven corporate responsibility opportunities that double as team-building exercises. You could even be making your workplace more attractive to potential new hires, since 75% of millennials say they’re looking to work at socially responsible companies.
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