A big part of improving our world is getting out and directly working on the problems we face. The troubles we’re facing only get worse when no one takes the time to work on them.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes it’s hard to find time to volunteer. With three kids and a home business, my life is busy. But at the same time, that almost makes it more important to volunteer. What better way to be a great example?
Where to Volunteer?
There are many places you can volunteer in any community. Some are more environmentally focused while others are more about helping the less fortunate. Either sort is a very good idea.
You can volunteer in a food kitchen. You can volunteer to help clean up a natural area near you. You can volunteer to read to kids at your local library. You can volunteer to build homes with Habitat for Humanity when they’re in your area or someplace you can go to help. You can volunteer to help a local CSA. You can volunteer to help bring environmental programs to your local schools.
You won’t always be able to do your first choice. Sometimes programs have enough volunteers and need to turn people away. Don’t let that stop you from volunteering. Look at other options or try again another time.
Not all volunteer opportunities will be right up there dealing with the problems that need to be fixed. You may be able to volunteer to help with the less obvious positions, such as keeping in contact with volunteers, helping with fundraising and so forth. These may not be as much fun, but they’re vital to many organizations.
Don’t Forget the Simple Things
Not all volunteering has to be big projects. You can do little things to make your community or the world a better place. Donate old glasses to Give the Gift of Sight. Do a little guerrilla gardening. Offer a microloan through sites such as Kiva. Give a donation to a good cause. Tell your friends and family about the causes you support. Some of them might choose to get involved too.
It’s not always going to be easy to find the time or money to help out the causes you’d like to support. But if you don’t try at all, it’s never going to happen. Take some time and think about where you could be making a difference right now. Get your kids involved as appropriate. We can all make a difference if we choose to.