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Volunteering is Simple

Updated on September 22, 2012

Volunteering in your community

The reasons people volunteer in their community and elsewhere are diverse. It can be to help in a disaster, school function, church or hospital. Many people volunteer for the sheer pleasure of helping someone in need. Others volunteer for job experience or college units for a specific class. Still others volunteer because they want the opportunity to socialize and get out of the house.

Be a Volunteer!


The importance of volunteering

How to Volunteer

Millions of hours a year a donated by volunteers. Without volunteers many adults, children, and even pets would be very lonely, hungry, or may suffer from a shortage in care workers available. According to the Volunteering in America Website in 2010 26.3% of Americans volunteered. The highest volunteer rates for America are positions in schools. These positions are more than twice as likely to be filled as any other volunteer position.

Many people across the world donate many hours a month to places and positions they deem worthy. It turns out that women tend to volunteer more than men (I think that may have to do with volunteer hours done at their children’s schools) and the older you are, the more likely you are to volunteer. At any age we can find some time to do volunteer work. My children have volunteered to help feed the homeless and the disabled. Even if it is a onetime event or occasional practice it will in some way make a person’s life better.

My experience

I have spent many hours volunteering at my children’s school, my church and at a recovery home for men over the years. For me, it was a great experience. I began volunteering at a church at the nursery, then the office and then I was assigned all the administrative duties. This turned into a paid position. This shows that volunteering can be of personal and professional benefit to the person who gives of their time.

I have volunteered thousands of hours in my lifetime. The best experience I have was when I did life skills training through the recovery home for men. For 8 months my husband and I trained the men who were going through the program to learn customer service, job responsibility, sales techniques, and we helped them to learn to work as a team. This part of their recovery program was actually job training in a real work environment. We ran a Café and taught the men to work in it it from top to bottom. Many of these men were facing 20 years to life for crimes they had committed, mainly violations that were related to drug use. This was a special program approved by the court to try rehabilitate these men and reduce, suspend, or pardon their sentences. This was their last chance before long term jail sentences. These men had to go through an interviewing process and then be approved by a judge to be able to attend this rehab.

What I learned from these guys (about 100, over the 8 months) was that many of them had no skills in dealing with people on a personal or professional level. They were very defensive in the beginning and we had to teach them appropriate communication techniques and then train them the job skills they lacked. There are a few of the men that we trained still in our community, they are successfully holding jobs and are no longer using drugs. One of the men we trained helped us with our son's wedding formals as he in management at a large chain specialty clothing store for men. Making the big bucks too. He is a success, and without people along his path that were willing to help in that program and many others like it, there would be a lot more people in need and committing violent crimes because of it.

Not everyone made it through the program. This was really sad. We got to know them and their families, so it was hard on everyone if one of them had to return to prison for one reason or another. These men were quality humans that lacked many of the skills needed to hold a job and have quality lasting relationships with others. That was their biggest problem. Most of these men needed the job skills and people skills to keep them ‘off the street’. By retraining one person it can help save a whole family.

There are so many opportunities in every community to volunteer; no one should ever have ‘nothing to do’ on any given day, and no one should have to be in need. We are all here together on this earth. We all need someone or something at times in our lives.

CBS Evening News

No Veteran Dies Alone

I want to mention one worthy cause where there is a lot of need. There is program called No Veteran Dies Alone, this program provides care and comfort for veterans who are dying in the Veteran Hospitals around the United States. Many of these people end up dying alone in their hospital beds. This is very sad for them, and there is a great need for company for the in their last hours in this life. Now, whether you agree, or not, with wars of the past, or wars of the present, the reason for helping these people is because they are people. I am not emotionally tied to veterans, and I am not a big war supporter, but I am a people supporter.

I plan on Volunteering at the Veterans Hospital near to me for this purpose. As a volunteer, my job will be, to be there with the dying person and keep their company, hold their hand and talk to them until they pass from this life. I read that 1800 Veterans die alone every day, and I am sure there are many in the civilian population that do too, but I don’t know of any special programs for them like this one. This may not be the best suited volunteer position for everyone, but I know, if this position isn’t a good fit for you, there is one out there for you.

You don’t have to be hooked up with a program either. I spent 2 years feeding the homeless on my own. I would always carry food in my car, usually peanut butter and crackers, canned chili, and fruit. We would give them food and jackets and whatever we could that would help them.

Easy Volunteer ideas

Cut an elderly neighbors grass

Go shopping for someone

Help a child with their homework

Pay for someone’s groceries once in a while.

You never know what a profound effect you may have on a person’s life with one act of kindness.

So the moral of the story is; get out and volunteer, it will make everyone feel good.

How about you?

Are you a volunteer?

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    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      5 years ago from California

      @Hyphenbird Unfortunatley I don't think enough people know how rewariding it is to give back to people and their community. No Vetran left behind in not well know, I hope people get the word out so that more can spend precious hours that will mean so much to so many who spend their last days very much alone.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Your Hub touched my heart so deeply. My whole family is volunteer oriented. My little boy has gone with me since he was four and now at almost ten has an eagle eye for someone in need. I intend to look into the No Veteran Dies Alone program. I was not aware of it. As a Meals om Wheels volunteer, I see how lonely older people are. Thank you for your great and loving heart. Bless you!

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @Deborah Yes, I have made many friends too this way. Both fellow volunteers and the people I have helped. It is a great feeling when you can make a difference in someone else's life. Thanks for commenting.

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comment. I know what it's like to raise children and work. That is two full time jobs, I don't think most people understand that. That is great that you volunteer at the school. Your kids will always remember that you took the time to go to their school. Our schools need a lot of parent support. Thanks again.

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comment. I really think that more people would volunteer if they realized that they could do little things to help people, not dedicate set hours all the time. I appreciate your comment and you taking the time to read my hub.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Giving your time as a gift to others and not expecting anything in return is rewarding. I volunteer daily with many online support groups. I also volunteer in my neighborhood with events and neigjnorhood watch.

      To hear from someone that I helped them gives me the strength to continue on with helping others. Way to go Kim!

    • MarieAlice profile image

      Maria Alicia Cardenas 

      6 years ago from Spain

      Nice Hub, when I was a teenager I used to be a volunteer in and elderly retirement home and in a orphan´s home. It was a great experience. Now I do not have a lot of time since I´m a full time worker and homemaker, but everytime I can I go and be a volunteer at my kids school...Is always good to do something nice for others

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for sharing your story. Giving back is so important, and you get so much satisfaction from it. Plus, I've made a lot of good friends through my volunteer work.

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @alocsin Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I think women do more because of church and school site hours. I know a lot of men who dedicate lots of time to volunteering. I am glad you found my article interesting, thank you so much.

    • alocsin profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      The world could use more people like you, who volunteer their time freely. I've done my share of volunteerism and am not surprised women do more than men. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @rajan thank you for the comment. It is important to realize that we are all together, much like a family. There are many things we can do on a daily basis to help others. Thanks again, I appreciate your taking time to read and comment.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      There are hundreds and thousands of people who need a helping hand. Helping them in whatever way one can not only satisfy us emotionally but make their lives somewhat easier.

      Thanks for listing some volunteering ideas.

      Voted up.

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @Ruchira I agree with you, when a person blesses someone they are in turn blessed in some way. I believe in Karma too. Thank you for commenting and sharing, I appreciate it.

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Volunteering is good karma and i sternly believe in it. I volunteer a lot of my time as well. Thanks for this useful hub...loved it and sharing it as well :)

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @RTalloni Yes volunteering is really important and it can be big to some in need or as they say 'like a ripple in a pond' thanks for the comment and the interest.

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      Volunteering is important work, bringing hope and even substantial change to desperate lives. You offer some great volunteer options--everyone can do something! Some volunteers wind up doing very big things, but one thing's for sure, all volunteers do something big for the people they work with.


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