Quotes from actual volunteers about the benefits of volunteering:
“Volunteering does wonders for your mind, body and spirit. Especially if you're feeling isolated or out on a limb after a big change, like a redundancy, say, or change of relationship. It's a way to plug yourself in again and get charged up.”
“Volunteering has made a difference in my life. I feel a sense of satisfaction, like I am adding to the greater good of our community. I feel as though I make a difference, even though I am a “behind the scenes” volunteer.”
“I love volunteering and I don’t know what else I’d do with my time if I didn’t volunteer! It really inspires you to do new things and once you’ve done a bit of volunteering it’s easy to become addicted!”
There are many ways you can make a difference in your community. Choose your area of interest or expertise and see how you can make an impact and have fun doing it.
This type of volunteer work could include walking dogs at a local shelter, helping a home-bound patient care for their animals, grooming and caring for horses, and even bringing your animal to visit residents of long term care facilities.
Arts / Culture
Volunteering tasks for this category could include helping at special events for our area that may include Native American traditions and customs. It could be assisting people with crafts at the community centers or senior centers. Other activities could be teaching children a unique art or craft.
Examples of volunteer assignments in this category can be working on projects such as planning special events, offering business training for clients, mentoring patients or clients in job skills, sharing expertise in bookkeeping or spread sheets, and organizing fundraisers.
Helping with child care at the local shelters during group sessions, providing child activities for families in counseling, leading children’s activities at after school programs and day care facilities, and even reading to children at local libraries are just some of the examples of child care activities in this volunteer category.
This type of volunteer work may include helping with maintenance work such as small repair jobs to big electrical projects. Keeping a facility clean on a weekly basis or even once a month are also examples of this category. Most of the non-profit agencies need help with custodial and yard work including changing the heater pads, mowing the grass, painting, trimming bushes, removing debris, cleaning patient rooms, maintaining hiking trails, etc.
Providing front desk coverage, answering agency phones, helping direct clients to resources, greeting patients or clients or even just smiling at people being served at an agency are examples in this volunteer category.
Providing care for people that have disabilities may just be one of the examples of this type of service. Another example is volunteering to be a coach or mentor for children with disabilities. Becoming an advocate for people with disabilities and their families is also a great example of the type of volunteering that non-profit agencies need in this category.
Helping with group counseling sessions, providing companionship at a shelter, being a job coach or actually volunteering at the domestic violence shelter are examples in this volunteer category. Volunteers can help provide life skills and support for domestic violence victims and their families. Shelters and counseling centers for domestic violence victims need drivers and child care on occasion also.
Drug / Alcohol Treatment
Mentoring patients with drug or alcohol addictions could be an example of how a volunteer can help in this category. Other examples include leading group sessions, participating in youth drug court as a “juror”, working in the treatment center or shelter, and providing drug and alcohol awareness education to children and teenagers.
Volunteering in an elementary classroom or at a daycare facility may be one way to serve in this category. Sharing skills, talents and time by teaching at our community or senior centers is another way to provide education to our community. Working in an office of one of the child care providers, after school programs, youth programs, and schools is also an important task where volunteers can help and work with children.
Helping with an environmental sustainability project or picking up trash on the highway are just some of the examples in this category. Others include, helping plant trees and shrubs in our public gardens or working on a fundraiser to improve our environment.
As a volunteer in this category, projects could include leading family group sessions, assisting families with moving or remodeling after a tragedy and even mentoring to families in the court system. Volunteers might also work in the school systems with family organizations doing fund raisers or tutoring. This category could involve volunteer work like serving families meals or helping at shelters.
Volunteers can assist in government processes and help in government offices with everything from filing to participating in legal hearings. Other volunteer opportunities might include assisting government employees such as law enforcement officers or working as a victim advocate. Government volunteer opportunities may also include participating in educational and supportive programs offered through the specific agency.
Volunteering in the justice system category could mean helping in court sessions and preparing for hearings. Volunteers might also help law enforcement with special events and assist in government legal offices. Other services might include becoming a child or victim advocate or even working in the probation and parole system.
Volunteering in a medical facility might include such tasks as sitting with patients, assisting medical staff in procedures, delivering mail and flowers to patients, cleaning patient rooms and common areas, helping file patient records, scheduling appointments for patients, educating patients on available resources, assisting patients with daily common tasks, and much more. Simple things such as reading to patients and providing companionship are also examples of volunteer opportunities in the medical field.
Providing office coverage, answering phones, filing, scheduling appointments, helping with large mailings, making copies, updating web pages, proofreading, making patient or client follow-up calls, creating flyers for special events, transferring paper files to digital, helping with marketing for fundraisers and other special events are some of the examples of work for volunteers in this category.
Helping deliver lunches to seniors in their homes, working in a local senior center, or teaching crafts at a long term care facility are some examples of services volunteers can do. Volunteers could be advocates for the elderly or serve as companions for shut-ins. Driving seniors to doctor’s appointments and shopping are also important ways to serve in this category.
As a volunteer in this category, some of the services may include helping in homes of the elderly or terminally ill, providing support to people that experienced a tragedy, or helping a student receive their degree. Some of the other examples of serving in social services may include teaching the disabled computer skills, or participating in group counseling sessions for addicts.
A volunteer can help with special events by working on the marketing for an event, assisting in planning of the event, or even working the actual event. Special events can range from annual fundraisers involving small groups of people to larger events with thousands of participants. Most of the non-profit agencies have special events throughout the year and can utilize volunteers once or at every event.
Updating web pages, helping with spreadsheets, setting up computers and printers, providing computer trainings to clients, transferring paper records to the computer, assisting with production and editing of videos, and typing up documents are all examples of technical/ computer opportunities for volunteers in this category.
Volunteers could be mentors to the youth in the community or be a coach for team sports. Other examples include working with youth to receive their degree, or sponsoring group fundraisers involving the youth, like car washes or food drives. Working with youth in the legal system that need adult role models and even teaching youth new skills and crafts at day camps.