Opportunities and examples of volunteerism exist all around you. There are literally hundreds of places to volunteer to put your handy skills to work right in your own back yard!
Examples of Volunteerism in the Professional Sector
Perhaps you're retired or you are looking for an opportunity to share your abilities and talents with others and give back to the community. If you are a credentialed professional, opportunities for you to volunteer abound!
Doctors, Nurses and Other Certified Medical Specialists
If you work in the medical field, you are probably already aware of the need in many places for quality medical care. Why not consider donating your expertise and doing a few hours of community service for free? If you're a nurse, why not help with a flu shot clinic or a community health education initiative? Places you can look for volunteer opportunities in the medical field include:
- Your own hospital where you have priveleges.
- Volunteer with a medical charity such as Doctors Without Borders
- A local health clinic
- Local scout troops or similar organizations
Teachers and Child Care Experts
If you are a certified teacher and would be willing to donate a little time, examples of volunteerism in your field can include:
- Doing an after school program
- Tutoring for free
- Working in a disadvantaged area
- Working oversees teaching English and literacy
Other Professional Opportunities
Regardless of what you're certified to do, you can rest assured that there is a need for your skills. Whether it's volunteering with kids, teaching others what you know at a library or community organization, or working pro bono. . .your skills are needed. Check local community centers, libraries, or even your local scouts troops. However, don't think that you're not needed just because you're not a certified professional. It takes all types to get things done and in some cases, any help is welcome help. Sometimes too, like in the case of the American Red Cross, the organization will train you.
Ways to Find a Volunteer Opportunity
There are numerous ways to find volunteer opportunities. Often times, it's as simple as looking around your neighborhood and seeing a need that you can meet. However, if you're looking for a more formal volunteer opportunity, check out these examples of volunteerism:
Whether it's Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Earth Scouts or something in between, scouting organizations are run almost entirely by volunteers. Not all the positions require you forging into the forest with a group of pre-adolescents either.
The Red Cross is purportedly the largest volunteer organization in the United States. Not only does the Red Cross provide opportunities to train people in life saving techniques, they also respond to natural disasters and provide emergency relief in the US and abroad--all through volunteers.
Your Local Hospital or Nursing Home
You can visit residents in the nursing home, cuddle preemies, or volunteer to play games with children who are in the hospital for lengthy stays. Obviously programs vary from hospital to hospital but if you have a great idea--why not run it by the volunteer coordinator.
Finding Opportunities Online
There are a lot of opportunities listed in searchable databases. These are just a few:
- Volunteer Match.org allows you to input your location, and a keyword to find a good match.
- Volunteer.Gov is a searchable database of opportunities pertaining to caring for national parks and forests. If you love being outdoors--this might be the opportunity for you!
- The Peace Corps not only has the benefit of having been around forever, but you can also volunteer and get part of your federal college loans canceled.
The work opportunities are ample--will you answer the call to give of your time and talents and be a volunteer?