Community · world

Give back (aka volunteer somewhere!)

Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t give back more. That I don’t do more for my community. Shouldn’t I be doing more. I feel like I should be doing more. It’s hard to do more when you feel so busy. Or maybe that’s what we like to tell ourselves.

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I volunteer in plenty of places. More than I did when I was in high school for sure. I didn’t volunteer at all then. Maybe its part of growing up or something that you want to do more I’m not sure, but I want to do my part for sure. This includes matters of the environment, policy and community development. I care about communities that I live in and want everyone to have a strong shot at getting their goals accomplished. It’s strange for me to say it, but I want things to be great for everyone. America is already a great place and no one needs to hear that they are worthless and part of a money-making machine to get America and themselves rich again. If you know who I’m talking about then you also have a role to play in your community.

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The first step is to know what you can do. Where are the local food banks? Do they need any extra help? What about senior centers? Childcare centers. There is any easy way to do this with the site Volunteer Match that will note your location and send you emails about things you can do in your area. Sometimes there are many things, other times not so much. But, this does discount other volunteer organizations not included. So check with your local United Way chapter as well.

Next, figure out what you are really able to commit to doing. And contact the necessary people. Meet in person if needed. Work it out so that you can get involved in some way if it is something you want to be a part of. Don’t hold back on reaching out again because people forget that you are interested, you’re only a volunteer anyway. But you still matter!

Find a local event to volunteer at and just go! This can be a 5k, a blood drive, a book drive-anything as long as it gets you out there with others. If you are able to recruit friends then all the better, but if this is an organized event do not simply bring along a bunch of friends with you without asking if it okay to bring extra hands (one or two extra people might be fine, but other people in the community might already signed up to help on that day).

The main idea is to get yourself involved with a community event or organization that will allow you to help them in a way that is non-binding (in that you are not an employer).

Whatever way you do it, be kind to all regardless of where they come from and what they do because I know you have your faults too.

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