Archive | April, 2011

National Volunteer Week – DO something!

12 Apr
Mary and Naomi

My first day as the adoption went through for Naomi, my newest addition!

Today’s post is dedicated to National Volunteer Week. If you are anything at all like me, community and helping others is important  to you, but maybe you just don’t know where to start! Well, you’re in luck! There are SO many great resources out there online now for finding your ‘perfect match’ when it comes to volunteering, it’s easier than ever to get started!

My favorite website is Volunteer Match. You can search through what needs are out there and what ones you think you might be able to assist with. It’s REALLY easy. You just click on the “Volunteer” tab and click “search” to see what kinds of things are out there using your zip code or types of work you are looking for. You can also register to create an account and be able to leave feedback on the organizations asking for help. This is a great tool because, in my experience, not all places are great to work with so having the ability to leave feedback about how easy it was to volunteer and how much you enjoyed it is a good thing for others to steer clear of poor relationships and be able to give extra efforts to the good ones! I used this website to find local animal rescues in my area needing graphic design and photography help!

In addition, a few other sites I’ve found recently are “Do Something” (thus my title above!) and “I Participate!” Both sites also offer the ability to search for volunteer opportunities in your area, but they seem a little more ‘glitz and glam’ than the Volunteer Match site which just gets right to business. “Do Something” seems to be catering to a younger crowd and might be a good tool to use to get your teenagers and young adults interested. “I Participate” seems to rely on famous celebrities to put some shine on volunteering. Personally, I don’t need the glam, just the facts, but these sites give options to different personality types so that just about anybody can find a volunteer website that feels like ‘home’ to them!

Whatever you do and no matter how you find those volunteer opportunities, it’s most important to just DO SOMETHING! Yep, you heard me. 🙂 Just do it! This weekend the MD SPCA is having it’s annual fundraising event, March for Animals. And guess what? I’m doing something! I’ll be there photographing the event for them and hope to see your smiling faces (and furry friends!) there joining in on the fun! All it takes is reaching out to these organizations and asking if your skills or talents can be used. Honestly, it took 5 minutes out of my day to email the SPCA to see if they could use my help. It’ll be a fun afternoon with lots of animals and taking can I NOT enjoy helping in that environment?! I’m just SO excited they need me! So, find what is right for YOU, and just get out there and have fun! I know sometimes getting started is the hardest part… so take that leap and just try! You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome! Happy Volunteer Week!