Volunteering is Simple
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.
Books about volunteerijng
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?
More on volunteering
- A VA promise: No veteran dies alone - CBS News
CBS Evening News: A VA promise: No veteran dies alone - Volunteers, staffer create web of compassion to comfort veterans on final trek
- Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits: Helping Yourself While Helping Others
Discusses reasons to become a volunteer, where to find volunteer opportunities best suited for you, and how to get started.
- Welcome to Serve.gov