Volunteer! Why? Volunteering not only displays community support and compassion for others, but can become a door that leads to a new career!
While struggling with low numbers of students and an intermittent flight schedule this winter, I started to dig around for a few volunteer opportunities I could work on. The following is only a small cross-section of what I found to help you stay motivated in giving, learning and striving to continue being the best you can be in all you do.
1. Area schools
What better way to serve than to serve the future? Area schools offer school programs to both primary and secondary grades which bring in local volunteers to motivate and teach courses. Some schools will actually give you the materials and instruction cues in advance. These types of programs are incredible resources for both volunteer and student because the material is relevant, accessible and generally simple to relate. For example: Teaching basic budgeting to high school students. This course, though it admittedly sounds pretty dull, is a preemptive strike! These future adults will learn how to prioritize their finances based on their needs, set aside some money for their dreams, and also teach them to save for the unexpected. These life skills may provide a financially responsible future to individuals who may not have had one otherwise without you.
2. Local Hospitals
Although some area hospitals are tentative about recruiting “candy stripers,” this could lead to exposure and opportunity for those who have served as combat medics, nursing technicians and nursing aids in the military. Basic human care is a lifeline. As individuals, we take it for granted to have the abilities to maintain hygiene, and to even read a book. By researching and contacting your local hospitals, you may be able to become a liaison for a patient, and could also be the best part of their day by simply giving a little time to them that isn’t accompanied with discomfort in medication or daily care.
3. Retirement Communities
Some communities are simply for individuals of retirement age, so be careful: Assisted living and retirement communities are not synonymous. When searching for opportunities, be specific. Individuals in these communities may need to be driven to and from appointments, may need home care assistance (basic mechanical/mobility care), may need professional assistance with medical needs (LPNs and combat medics…heed this!), cooked meals or simply may need their pet walked.
4. Local and State Parks
Every year, summer seems to inevitably happen – which means weeding, lawn care, planting, cultivation and harvesting. Local areas appreciate an extra set of hands whose skin could use some dirt-therapy. Not only can lending a hand help your community here, but the skill set developed could prove to be instrumental in cultivating one’s own garden. The extra bonus of vitamin D absorption from the sunshine doesn’t hurt, either.
Research the many websites that offer volunteer opportunities!
The following are only a few to start your journey of selflessness.
A few of these organizations will not only design and assign you with an opportunity to serve, but can also serve you in return with great reviews, mentorship roles and leadership skills which could open up the door to your new career.
Reach out. Help out. Get out (and wear sunscreen for those sunny days)!