After you have a good group of volunteers who are committed to helping, you may want to consider setting it up as a non-profit organization.
Creating a Non-Profit will allow you to take donations giving your volunteers more resources to work with. You can decide on a name for your organization and create a website about your work. Donations can be used to start a food bank, fill shoe boxes at Christmas time or any number of things you have not thought of yet.
Once your Organization is up and running, you can think about documenting what your volunteers are doing. Sharing your ideas and projects with pictures on your website will go along way to getting the word out. As a non-profit, you can create a mailing list and request donations to fund your projects too.
Asking the volunteers to hand out wallet sized pocket cards when doing home visits is another great way to get the word out about what you do. Pocket cards can be custom printed to include prayers, your group’s message or even explain how they can get involved and help. The volunteers name and phone number can be written on the back side for future reference making it easy for you to be contacted if they think of someone else who could use help.
Volunteering can be fun way to share a message of love. It can also inspire the people you meet to “Pass it On” or “Pay it Forward”. You many find as you build connections in your community that you need a way to network with others so your efforts can grow. There are many ways to turn your volunteering into a group effort.
Starting a Meetup or Church Group is a good place to get together with like minded people who would like to help. Meetings can be used to share ideas about helping in your community and allow you to see what resources are available too.
Each volunteer has different goals and can offer different skills. Some may only prefer to visit those in need while others might have the time to drive them to an appointment. Bringing children when visiting can often make a home bound persons day. Teens can be encouraged to sweep a sidewalk or wash a window for someone who is unable to. The point is that everyone can do something, even if small that can be a blessing in someones life.
Including young people by bringing them along and encouraging them to think of other nice ways to help is a good way to create a giving heart. The hope is that they will come up with there own ideas and take action in simple ways to help those in need.
If you have a meeting, make a list. Ask everyone what they can do which will include anything from printing flyers, making or donating food, cleaning, organizing, or even watching kids for the volunteers themselves. Some volunteers may only want to work with cancer patients or the disabled…the point is there are no rules and there should be no pressure.
Visiting the elderly or shut-ins in your neighborhood is another great way to volunteer. While volunteering at a local center that does charity work is always a good way to fulfill your goal to help others, there are many other ways to personalize what you can do.
Looking for opportunities in your own neighborhood can start you on a volunteering journey that is more personal and can be adjusted to your own schedule. You may have neighbors who are elderly or home bound that might need help and are being missed by nearby volunteer groups.
Once you figure out who you would like to reach out to and help, you need to get your foot in the door, so to speak. A perfect time to introduce yourself is after a storm when the power is out. Stopping by to introduce yourself and see if they are ok is a good way to start. You can ask them if they have a way to keep warm, have enough food to eat or need any help.
Get to know them a little bit by telling them who you are and where you live. Bringing over some tea to share can often open up the opportunity to sit for a bit and get to know each other. Through this conversation, you can see if they have friends or family checking in on them already to determine if your help is really needed.
Getting to know which elderly neighbors already have a safety net will better help you to know where to focus your time and volunteering resources. They may know of other neighbors who might need to be checked on too so be sure to ask them this question before saying goodbye.
Connecting with your neighbors is sometimes a lost art in the world we live in. Creating friendships in your own neighborhood is always a good idea. It will make your feel better about where you live and inspire others to look out for each other too.
Often the elderly and home bound are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood when everyone is at work for the day. Because of your friendliness towards them, you will feel safer knowing they are looking out for you too.
Love this Video ! It shares the idea that opportunities are all around us. If we just open our eyes and look around, we can see what is needed. Watch this video and see if doesn’t move you to be more aware of where we can help.
October 15th is National Gift Giving Day – A single day assigned to encouraging special acts of kindness. Volunteering is a good way to share the gift of helping and it doesn’t cost any money.
Today would be a great day to consider how you could help in your local community. To do something personal, take a few minutes to ponder who might be a good person to gift to.
Everyone has neighbors and friends who may be struggli
Everyone has neighbors and friends who may be struggling financially or have extra responsibilities. Try offering your time to help in some way to lighten their load. An act of kindness can be a great way to become a better neighbor and make new friends.
National gift giving day is a fun way to look around, find a need and fulfill it. This is the perfect definition of being a volunteer.
So Your Thinking about Volunteering & Not Sure where Your Focus Should be?
Homeless people are in our communities in a much bigger way than ever these days. Large cities often have designated areas where the homeless are known to congregate. Many of us don’t know what we can do but Helping the Homeless is needed and a perfect way to volunteer.
The homeless often find themselves in this position due to a crisis in their lives such as a recent job loss or divorce. Most people in the USA are only a few months away from such an event themselves & if they have no place to go when their income stops, they could become homeless as well.
Having no money can lead to car repossessions & even home foreclosures pretty quickly. Food stamps & unemployment rarely covers even a small portion of the mortgage or current bills & it is almost impossible to get a job if you have no transportation or gas to get there.
The homeless are not so different from us. They face the same challenges in a fast paced society that will not wait if we get behind. There are many reasons why homelessness occurs which can include poor financial planning, mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, court orders, wage garnishments, etc. The struggle to survive can be daunting depending on one’s circumstances & often the reason a person decides to just quit.
If you are interested in helping the homeless, visit a local shelter or food bank for ideas on what you can do. If you see the homeless on your commute to work or in a nearby neighborhood, think about how you could help them personally. Dropping off a sandwich at lunch time or offering a book can be a simple way to connect with them & hear their story. Your Focus should be to encourage them, offer hope & show them respect as a human being.
If you prefer not to interact directly, a simple act of kindness is still important & can be done in secret too. Get creative & look for opportunities that open up before you as they most certainly will. Think of yourself as a servant or angel that wants to put a blessing in someone’s life & watch excitedly as the opportunities begin to reveal themselves.
While volunteering is fun and rewarding, it also clearly benefits our local community and enables volunteers to learn new skills, stay active and make friends. Whether you are an individual (teen to retirees included), a business or a group you have talents and skills that others need.
Opportunities Range from Volunteering in a Hospital to Animal Care, Mentoring Children & Adults & Even Helping with the Environment. Volunteering can be a group effort or a personal gesture in any community. It can include going around door to door collecting donations for a good cause, planting trees, caring for an elderly neighbor, or stocking up on supplies in case a disaster comes to your town.
If You are not sure where to start, checking with local hospitals, churches, schools, animal shelters can be a good place to start. They can give ideas about something you can do or offer suggestions about who else to ask. Look for opportunities that include something you are already good at & consider other ideas for something that you would like to try a new skill too.
There has aways been a great need for volunteers to get involved in their local communities. Besides the simple act of helping someone who can truly benefit, we cannot overlook the fact that helping others brings personal benefits to, not only the receiver but the volunteer well. Check Out the video below if you are interested in getting involved to see all the reasons why volunteering is actually good for you too.
Main Benefits of Volunteering:
The main benefit of helping others is very fulfilling & feels fun. Not only does it benefit the community but it can enhance your social life and boost your self-esteem and confidence. Volunteers often mention that they have a sense of pride & accomplishment after a good day of group projects . Plus if you haven’t heard, it is now being said that volunteering may even actually have health benefits as well.
Health Benefits of Volunteering:
If you haven’t heard yet, being a volunteer may include physical benefits too. Studies are showing that among people who make an effort to help others on a regular basis may actually have less heart disease, a decrease in chronic pain and lower mortality rates.
Social Benefits of Volunteering:
But I would still say that the most important benefit of volunteer work…and the biggest reason for why anyone does it is because of the friendships that are created along the way. Getting involved causes special bonds to be formed and encourages building new relationships both among the helpers & receivers that come together as a group to get things done.
Volunteering can open you up to new ideas & new ways of doing things. It improves your outlook on life & gives you a focus and satisfaction that cannot be gotten any other way. Instead of aimlessly moving through your day, you now have a plan and something to do that is bigger than yourself.
Educational Benefits of Volunteering:
The educational benefits should also include work related benefits since these often go hand in hand. Not only does volunteer work look good on your resume but it is often required when applying to colleges. When you join volunteer groups locally, you learn new skills which are often a valuable bonus to employers who are looking to hire people with leadership experience. Taking the time to help others shows an effort towards a good work-life balance and puts you above the rest when applying for a new job. If you are trying to get hired by a good company, volunteering can go a long way to impressing the person who may quite possibly decide your future.