Guide to Giving: Gift of Time
We hear it all the time: give back, community service, volunteering, etc. And I like to think that most of us have the heart for a particular cause (people, animals, environment, etc.) and want to do our part to help out. There's a ton of ways to give back but today I wanted to focus on giving the gift of your time.
Volunteering has always been a huge part of my life. When I graduated college and moved to Chicago, I struggled to find the right volunteer opportunity. I was feeling lost because all I wanted to do was serve people.
For me, my calling is to help those experiencing homelessness. I would walk the streets of Chicago and I felt my heart torn because I wasn't doing anything to help those around me. Once I found my church, I found out about their service initiatives and their lunches for our friends experiencing homelessness. I started going every Sunday and made such good friendships. I was so happy to give back by giving my time. It was only two hours every Saturday but I could tell it made a difference in my life and in their lives. I loved it so much that I am now in a liaison position between my church and the non-profit Care for Friends that coordinates the lunches and other initiatives.
I'm thrilled to be giving back again and I wanted to put together a guide for those who are looking to also give back with their time after college or in a new city.
1. Find a church or community organization
One of the best ways to get plugged into a cause is to find a church or a community organization that coordinates volunteer activities. These places normally have several different opportunities and charity partners so you can explore and find causes you truly are passionate about.
For my Chicago babes:
For Fort Worth babes:
I volunteered at The Net and loved it.
If you have a specific cause you're passionate about, check out VolunteerMatch where you can find specific volunteer opportunities for whatever cause you want! They have local opportunities and virtual.
I know it seems silly but just Googling volunteer opportunities in your city can unlock a whole host of organizations or events.
4. 5K or other charity races
Donate your money and your time in supporting causes and have fun doing it! I'm running in the Stan's Donut 5K this August, which supports the Chicago Food Depository.
What's your favorite way to get involved?