If you’re looking to build your resume, give back to your community and meet new people, then volunteering is a great way to start. You’ll also learn to appreciate your own ability to give to others and feel empowered by your ability to make a difference. Practically speaking, many colleges look for volunteer experience on applications, so it’s always good to find ways to get involved. Hopefully you’ll learn some valuable things about yourself along the way, too!
1. Homeless Shelter
While it can be easy to forget how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads and a warm home to live in, there are people less fortunate than us who we should remember. Volunteering at a homeless shelter is a great way to help those in need and to open your eyes to the realities of poverty in your own community.
2. Help at a Food Bank or Clothing Drive
Sometimes people don’t have enough money for food or clothing and they make use of the wonderful services offered by food banks and clothing drives. Call up a local one to see how you can give a hand. Tasks might include sorting and distributing items, collecting donations or serving a special meal around holiday time.
3. Volunteer with Your Local Government
If you have an interest in politics, getting some valuable work experience with your local government is an awesome way to give back. You might be asked to help with local events, mail-outs or campaigns. Alternatively, you can volunteer with your student council to assist with school events and projects.
Become a Tutor or School Aid
Schools always have a bunch of volunteer opportunities whether it’s with your own or a nearby elementary school. Even asking teachers if they need an assistant is an excellent way to give back and get some experience working within a school environment. Some schools even have more official peer tutoring programs that you can get involved in to help your classmates or those younger than you.
5. Help Out at a Local Animal Shelter
Do you love animals? Assisting at a local animal shelter is a wonderful way to contribute to your community with an added bonus of getting to spend time with cute creatures! You might be asked to take dogs for walks, groom animals, clean cages or help with fundraisers.
6. Visit a Retirement Home
Retirement homes are also great places to volunteer. Even just visiting residents regularly can really boost their spirits. While you might be assigned specific tasks, you might also be asked to just spend time with people, play board games and talk. Even these seemingly simple visits can make a big difference in someone’s life.
7. Pitch in For an Environmental Cause
If you have a passion for the environment and the outdoors, then helping an environmental cause might be a great fit for you! Some causes will ask you to help with campaigns or events while others might be more hands-on and ask for help cleaning parks, streams or other natural habitats. This is a great way to give back and get outside!
8. Help With a One-Day Event
If you don’t have time to help out regularly for a cause, finding a one-day or annual event is also an option. Maybe your school has events or there’s something that takes place every year in your neighbourhood. It’s as simple as finding out who’s in charge and asking how you can pitch in! Either way, giving back to your community feels great, is excellent on your resume, helps you learn new skills and allows you to meet new people.
Feature Image: Neslihan Gunaydin