Are you looking for a way to fit in, to feel needed, to make a difference? VOLUNTEER!
One of the fastest ways to find like-minded friends is to join a cause you feel strongly about. Use your talents to make the world a better place, and find self respect and self esteem.
Look around your neighborhood. Are there shut-ins or elderly who would appreciate a visit or call? Helping them with errands may be greatly appreciated. Perhaps a young mother could use some help with her children, or a family with one parent some assistance in the yard.
Do you attend a church? I belong to a lay church where I’ve served in a variety of volunteer positions in music, teaching children and cub scouts, and serving the youth. Perhaps you know of some church members needing assistance. Ask the leaders in charge if they know of some service opportunities.
There may be needy people in your area that could use a hand. One fun thing to do is to leave a needed but anonymous gift! I especially enjoy doing this at Christmastime, but any time can be rewarding when you know that what you give is needed and appreciated. Even a plate of cookies with a friendly note to a neighbor helps build a sense of community.
Do you have strong political opinions? Volunteers are in demand to make phone calls, put up flyers and signs, and offer assistance. I served as precinct chair and vice-chair, as a county delegate, and in helping specific candidates.
Hospitals love volunteers. I worked as a Candy Striper as a youth, filling water containers and bringing ice to patients in their rooms. They often wanted company more than ice water.
Crisis centers need people to answer phones and take calls. I worked as a volunteer in a crisis center in college.
Soup kitchens and homeless shelters welcome volunteers. Women’s shelters invite assistance in gathering clothing, food, and supplies for infants, women and children of all ages.
The American Red Cross seeks volunteers.
Name indexing of public records helps people connect world-wide in finding their ancestors. I’ve indexed names from Germany, Mexico, and the United States, from ancient parish and city records, census records, and immigration records. Even shut-ins can make an important contribution doing this.
Retirement centers and nursing homes welcome visitors. For four years my singing group of bell ringers visited the sick and elderly all year long, performing beautiful music to brighten their world. My grandfather and other home residents now enjoy weekly visits from those with service dogs.
There are many ways to volunteer. What interests you? Do you want to help people locally or abroad? What talents or skills might you enjoy sharing to bless the lives of others?
One way to heal from past trauma or abuse is to help others. Serving those who have gone through similar trials can help us overcome anxieties. If you would like personalized assistance in finding ways to volunteer, please contact me.