Volunteering to Help

When I woke up this morning, I was planning to write a post about a different subject. However, when I saw the Go Volunteer site, I changed my plans. I realize many of the people reading this post do not live in, or want to volunteer in, Australia. However, that is not a good reason to stop reading this post. If you are not working, in school, retired, thinking about changing careers, interested in developing expertise, or looking for something meaningful to do, volunteering may be right for you.

Although I chose the Australian site as an example, I know there are similar sites in various parts of the world. The purpose of this post is to mention some of the many benefits of volunteering, rather than a review a specific site to find or post a volunteer opportunity.

According to Go Volunteer, millions of people “make a difference by volunteering each year, doing a wide range of tasks for a wide range of organisations. People volunteer for many reasons and in many different ways. Some use volunteering as way to gain new skills or add to their CV [resume]. Others use it as a way to meet new people, make new friends or try something new. Making a difference to the community and having a sense of purpose are also popular reasons for volunteering. Whatever your own personal reason is for volunteering, rest assured it is a two way exchange – you give but you also gain.”

One aspect of the Go Volunteer site I like is the site is focused on the individual searching for an opportunity. If you are looking for a site to find the ideal opportunity for you, look for a site that allows you to select some or all of the following criteria:

  • Preferred Location (city, state, zip code, proximity, etc.)
  • Cause (animals, community, disability, etc.)
  • Your Interest (clerical, fundraising, support, transportation, etc.)
  • Duration (project, short term, long term)
  • Opportunity Type (middle school, limited English, disability, etc.)
  • Availability (Mon, Tues, Wed . . ., daytime, afternoon, evening)

Another aspect of the site I like is it allows qualified organizations to easily post opportunities in terms that interest volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering, search for a site that allow you to search for the things that are important to you. If you would like a volunteer to help your organization, find a site that is likely to attract the volunteers you need. Remember, volunteering is a win-win scenario for the volunteer and the organization.


    1. Esther, I look at volunteering as a win-win-win scenario. The volunteer gets free education and an opportunity to make a difference. The organization that manages the volunteer gets free help. And the recipient of the volunteering receive a smile and help from a caring person. ~ Scott

  1. “Civic engagement and volunteering is the new hybrid health club for the 21st century that’s free to join … Social capital research shows it miraculously improves both your health and the community’s through the work performed and the social ties built.”–Thomas H. Sander, executive director of the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University

    1. Esther, the benefits to the community may have something to do with the fact the community sees that someone outside the community cares. ~ Scott

  2. I think using technology to find volunteer opportunities is great. I belong to an organization that uses a site called Volunteer Spot.

    One day a week, my organization volunteers to feed hot meals to homeless and needy persons in our community. It takes a lot of effort to do this, starting at 6 AM in the morning picking up a van-full of donated food, to a shift that sorts the donations and plans the meals. A new shift comes in to cook and still another shift arrives to pick up the food and take it to the venues to serve.

    Volunteer Spot allows us to select one certain task in this schedule. That way, if a person only has a few hours to spare they can easily sign up for a single task and still contribute in a big way. It has been a great help to us to sign up easily on line. We are able to sign up weeks in advance or at the last minute, if needed. It’s great!

    1. DiDi, volunteering provides an opportunity to learn new skills, understand business operations, and use existing skills. More importantly, it allows volunteers to help others who need and appreciate the help. There are certainly many sites that connect volunteers to opportunities. Whether a person wants to volunteer as an individual or part of a group, there are plenty of people and organization that need help. The example you provided allows us to understand why volunteers are crucial to completing each of many tasks.

      No matter how much or how little a person has, there is someone who needs and appreciates you help.

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