Connect With Your Community: Volunteer!

If you’re new to your community and town — even if you’re not — one of the best ways to become a part of it is to get involved in it. We don’t mean homeowners associations, vital as they are. We mean organizations and people who can use a helping hand. Volunteering is the lifeblood of groups in your town who need assistance. What better way to get to know your neighbors, or to forge new friendships, than by doing good for others? We’ll help you get started below.

Who or What Do You Want to Help?

You already might know how you’d like to invest your volunteer energy. One of the best parts of community service is the unlimited number of groups that welcome volunteer participation. If you’re unsure where to begin, inventory your personal interests. What causes do you connect with? Does your workplace support a charity or nonprofit? If you attend a house of worship, what community projects are championed there? Your volunteer niche can be as wide or narrow as you like. Just remember it doesn’t have to dominate all your free time. Supporting one cause or organization on a regular basis will be appreciated, and do you good, too.Large group of a happy people with raised hands.

What Can You Contribute?

Your personal interests also can be your guide here. What hobby knowledge have you acquired? What career skills would aid a project thirsting for your sort of assistance? Are you a fixer-upper type? Find or organize like-minded enthusiasts who volunteer maintenance and design work to places such as nursing homes and kids’ clubs (also a mentoring opportunity). Professional expertise would be welcomed by an organization that prefers directing most of its resources back into the community.

Look Locally

While it’s always worthy to aid a valid national or worldwide organization, firefighters at the station around the corner from your house may need help installing new landscaping. A group of neighbors willing to pitch in alongside first-responders not only forms community bonds, it gets the work done in half the time. You’ll know you truly helped each time you pass the station and see those new shrubs or sidewalks. Plus, the captain might let you sit on the ladder truck.

Don’t Overlook Classic Community Events

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest volunteer opportunities, especially if they’re connected to a personal skill or passion. But, if you want a simple outlet to do immediate good — with minimal scheduling hassles — consider participating in walk-a-thons, running or cycling charity races, or a worship center’s or school’s pancake breakfast. These events usually are planned enough in advance that you can slot them on your calendar, and they’re as helpful as any volunteer activity. All raise crucial funding for crucial causes.

Pace Yourself

Avoid gung-ho disease. Don’t overload your calendar, as much as you might feel compelled. Instead, take time to figure out the activities most meaningful to you and stick with those. Once you know your capacity to contribute, you’ll be better able to seek out and appreciate new opportunities.

Ready to find your new community? ICI Homes is ready to help. opens in a new windowTalk to us here.