Whatever chapter you are in, your life won’t feel completely in sync if you aren’t spending part of your time serving others. You may think it is in sync, but until you experience the feeling of doing something for someone who can’t do anything for you in return, you haven’t truly experienced life. Serving or volunteering doesn’t have to be a huge time or financial commitment. Start with something small, maybe 1-2 hours a month. It also doesn’t mean you have to be a natural leader or even good with people. There are plenty of opportunities out there that are behind the scenes or involve our four-legged friends.
I know what you’re possibly thinking, I served my time when the kids were in school! PTA, youth group, band, soccer etc., etc., etc. Yes, if you have kids, you absolutely did serve your time and yes, you might be totally burned out and need a break. I get that, but don’t lose site of the positives you experienced when volunteering. What’s the purpose of our life experiences and adversities if we can’t use them to help someone else. We are put on this earth to serve a purpose and most often not just one purpose. Our experiences when serving, equip us for the next purpose or opportunity. We are meant to leave a legacy behind when we’re gone. Wouldn’t it feel great to be able to leave your mark wherever you are? Whether it’s at your kid’s school, at your work-place or within your family; leave behind a legacy. Leave something that will live on after you’re gone.
Often the most difficult part of volunteering is figuring out what you want to do and where you can best utilize your gifts and talents. I’ve come across a couple of great website that have dozens of volunteer opportunities available in many areas of need. You simply put in your zip code and viola a whole list of opportunities pop up. This is a great way to get your feet wet and try out different areas until you find the one that really speaks to you and sparks your passion. One such site is https://www.volunteermatch.org/. It allows you to browse through volunteer opportunities by location, your specific talents or your possible interests like animals or kids. If you already serve a non-profit, you can also apply to post your organization’s volunteer needs. It has a super, user-friendly website with tons of information right at your fingertips . Another great website is https://www.volunteer.gov/. Volunteer.gov is primarily designed to match people up with opportunities within state, national or local parks. It’s ideal if you love the outdoors though not all the jobs are labor intensive. An example is being a park host or even volunteering in the gift shop of a park. I can definitely see myself looking into some of these when I become a full-time RV’r and need an excuse to hang out at a beautiful national park for a while.
If you’ve been feeling that nudge to volunteer or even if you haven’t, at least take a quick peek at these websites. If nothing else, you will be able to direct a friend who is looking for a new place to volunteer. Many of the opportunities on Volunteer Match are one time gigs. So if you’re bored one weekend or you have a group who is looking for a service project, you can hop on this website and see what’s going on that very day. I hope you find this helpful and please let me know in the comments below if you have used any other websites similar to these or what your experience has been with either of the ones listed.
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