Do you ever feel like you don’t get enough me time? The thought of volunteering can be overwhelming when we hardly feel like we have enough time for ourselves! Although it’s natural to think “me first, others second,” there are actually many benefits that come for those who take the time to volunteer and meet needs in their communities.
According to helpguide.org, volunteering connects you to others, benefits your mind and body, can help advance your career, and brings fun and fulfillment to your life. Now that’s mutually beneficial!
Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.
Here are some easy and fun ways to get involved in your community:
1. Community Service Clubs at School:
College is great time to meet cool people who are making a difference in the world around them. Community service clubs are always looking for new people to help further their efforts in the community. There are usually multiple student organizations at most universities devoted specifically to community service work.
One great example is Speak Out at San Jose State University. Some of the events they have created are book drives for at-risk youth, a movie night for people with special needs, and free PB&J sandwich nights for the homeless in downtown San Jose.
2. Youth Sports Programs:
Volunteering at a youth sports program will help you stay fit, meet people with similar interests, and inspire the next generation to lead active and healthy lives. Four years ago, a friend of mine invited me to volunteer at E-Soccer, a soccer program for children with and without special needs. I have stayed involved ever since because of all the amazing kids, parents, and friends I’ve been fortunate enough to meet through the program.
3. Nursing Homes:
Volunteers are always welcome at nursing homes! There are so many roles you can play while volunteering there. Whether it’s helping in the therapy department, with arts and crafts, or just talking with the residents, you can make a difference! When my grandmother became a resident at a nursing home in San Jose, I decided to volunteer so I could help her recover. This experience resulted in my gaining valuable observation hours which helped me qualify for physical therapy school. In addition to making the resident’s day, you can move forward in your career path by volunteering at a local nursing home.