On Monday, January 10, I posted about getting back to volunteering. I have tried to find something that truly touches my heart and gives me purpose so that I will be able to stick to it even when life gets crazy busy! I love working with the elderly and with children, always have. I get so much out of being with them than they probably ever get from me.
While exploring my possibilities, I came across many wonderful websites offering information and help with getting started with volunteering. I came across a list of "Questions to ask before volunteering" which I am reprinting for you - great information!
Before choosing a volunteer opportunity, form a clear idea of your preferences and the implications of your decision to volunteer.
1. Ask yourself if you want to:
- Serve people in need directly
- Serve behind the scenes
- Use the talents and skills you already have
- Learn new skills
- Help address community problems
- Work with national or international issues
2. What would you like to gain?
- Help someone
- Feel needed
- Put faith in action
- Give back what you have gotten
- Meet others with like values
- Lend support to a cause or issue
- Make new friends
- Build a resume
- Make professional contacts
- Gain academic credit
- Learn new skills
- Make use of skills
- Get out of the house
- Make good use of your leisure time
3. What do you enjoy most?
- Working by yourself or with others
- Working indoors or outdoors
- Working with children, people with disabilities, the elderly
- Talking, telephoning
- Researching topics or issues
- Writing editing, typing, computer entry, tutoring
- Giving advice, counseling
4. Consider how much time you can give
- A few hours a week
- One day or one evening a week
- One weekend shift a month
- A block of time (Part of a break/vacation)
5. What skills or resources can you utilize?
- Legal, accounting, medical
- Event production
- Personal contacts in the community
- Child care
- Teaching experience
- Arts and crafts
- Athletic instruction
6. Special Considerations
- Transportation to and from your volunteer activity
- Miscellaneous expenses (parking, child care, etc.)
7. Dos and Don'ts
- Do be flexible.
- It is rare to find the "perfect" opportunity right away.
- Do attend orientation meetings.
- These meetings enable you to become informed.
- Do take the necessary training classes.
- Ask about them before you decide to become involved.
- Do be responsible. Show up on time and follow through.
- People are counting on you.
- Don't expect to start at the top.
- You have to work hard and prove your worth.
- Don't think that volunteering has to be a group effort.
- You can start your own volunteer program.
- Do expect to get plenty of personal enjoyment and satisfaction from your volunteer experiences. Credit
So far, I have chosen volunteer opportunities that are not long-lasting. I have volunteered at a senior citizen center to do taxes for seniors. Would you believe that 51 people have signed up to meet with me? I guess you know what I am doing for the next few weekends.
I will update you when I figure out where I should be volunteering on a more permanent basis.
What types of activities do you enjoy when spending time volunteering? I always love ideas!
Have a GREAT week!