Share & Connect
Volunteering is not only good for your soul and your karma bank, it is also extremely good for your cover letters and resume.
Although many charities are suffering from lessened funding and donations due to the recession, they are on the lookout for willing volunteers.
Even if you don’t have tons of time on your hands, there are heaps of ways you can help, and particularly for students, there are some positions which count as work experience as well!
Volunteering holds opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and availability.
For example, on volunteermatch.org, a U.S.-based organization, a quick search revealed volunteers needed for a one-day event, older people imparting their experience and advice to youth, host families for overseas exchange students, teachers to show refugees how to use bus systems in the area- enabling them to get to appointments and interviews- and that was just on two pages!
There are also sometimes industry-specific positions advertised: Are you in communications? Many organizations need help with producing information sheets, media releases, or newsletters. Are you a female scientist? Girl Scouts are looking to facilitate science workshops and need leaders with expertise. Are you an accountant? Many organizations need help with managing their accounts.
Volunteering can also be suitable for those looking into a drastic change or an interesting gap year- you can help overseas through organizations such as Cross-Cultural Solutions, or the Red Cross. These have work similar to that which you can find in the U.S., but as part of your travels it also involves aiding communities hit by disaster, or helping to teach any language you are fluent in.
You may think, “I work full time- when am I going to find time to volunteer and help others?”
Are you able to take half a day on weekends to mentor someone? Or tutor someone in a subject you were really good at in school or college? Can you take one day a year to help out at an event you are passionate about? (Assuming you aren’t already participating). If you are good at copy editing you could take one evening a month to look over an organization’s monthly newsletter.
Most volunteers are able to find the perfect position, on that makes them happy, and in which they are able to use their existing skills to help as much as possible in their community.
Check out Volunteermatch.org and search your area to find volunteer opportunites near you, or Google search ‘volunteer opportunities’ and see what pops up- you never know what you might find and what a difference you could make to the lives of others.