Don’t think that BUYING or GIVING money or items is the only way to make a change. YOU may be the best thing you have to offer. Volunteer.
Ways to volunteer:
There are lots of ways to volunteer and help others as they change their lives. You don’t have to be rich, successful, or even that stable yourself. Volunteering feels good and usually is pretty easy.
My list is based off the one published by L.A. Family Housing. These ideas are pretty universal and can be tweaked to reflect who you are and how you want to spend your time. If there is an agency or organization that has meaning to you: ask if you can do one or more of these activities for them.
- Cook. If they have people coming in for meals, offer to help prepare them.
- Union Station in Pasadena has various groups cooking meals and bringing them in.
- Union Rescue Mission runs the LA portion of the winter shelter. They always have a need for dinner foods and breakfast foods. Even dropping off a few gallons of orange juice and a Costco carton of muffins is helpful!
- Sort. Donations and supplies need to be sorted and organized.
- Reception and office. Volunteer your office skills. It looks good on your resume and keeps your skills sharp. Answer phones, open mail, fax, file and put that pretty smile to work. This is really a great gig if you want to help but don’t want to get “dirty”.
- Coach. What do you know that has made you successful?
- Do you know how to write a great one page resume’?
- Do you understand the Community College System (Cristina).
- Hopefully sooner (rather than later) the homeless will have housing – can you teach those basic home repairs or how to find a wall stud to hang a picture on?
- _____ I know you can do this one___ teach basic computer, internet and social media usage.
- Plant and paint. Make the buildings, offices, and shelters more attractive by planting flowers in gardens and window boxes. Or donate a plant to your favorite place and then “visit” it twice a week to water it.
- Tutor. If your place services people ion school : i.e. little kids in k-12 or adults in junior college etc – offer your teaching skills to tutor them.
- Have Fun and play: create arts and crafts with the kids, paint with the children or adults.
- Interact. You hear soo much emphasis on VISABILITY because it matters. Just talking has a lot of impact. Create a community around your donated time.
- Start a coffee clutch and discuss current events. This is especially popular at senior centers and skilled nursing homes
- Women’s and Men’s social groups. Get the ladies together and bring your nail polish, or catch a bus to the free day at the local arboretum, park or museum. Pull the men in on Sundays for football. Bring nuts and bowls and chips and watch the simple magic of male bonding.
- Travel Club; you don’t actually have to travel anywhere, a Television and videos of your own travels or watch the amazing Hewel Howser
Get out there and have a good time and don’t spend a dime (unless you want to!)