The Benefits of Volunteering
Take a look around your neighborhood or your community. Chances are, you'll notice at least a few things that are either overlooked or are in need of a little help. Maybe there's a non-profit organization that needs its lawn mowed or help collecting food for the needy. Perhaps there's a youth camp that needs people to take kids on a hike or children at a child-care center that would love to have an adult read books to them once a week.
That's where volunteering comes in! It only takes one person and a small amount of time to improve not only those issues, but to also improve the lives of the people around you who also care about and need those services. As Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, once said:
"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."
To help you get started or find other volunteer opportunities, you may want to check out the following resources:
- Serve.gov is an online resource for not only finding volunteer opportunities in your community, but also creating your own. Visit the site at http://www.serve.gov/.
- VolunteerMatch.org strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. They offer a variety of online services to support a community of nonprofit, volunteer and business leaders committed to civic engagement. Visit them online at http://www.volunteermatch.org/.
- Loan forgiveness for public service may also be of interest to you or someone you know. If so, visit the following web pages: http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml and http://www.finaid.org/loans/forgiveness.phtml.
And you don't have to volunteer by yourself. Bring a friend, or even your entire family along. It's the perfect way to teach your kids early on about the importance of helping others and making a difference.
Stay tuned for more Quick Tips coming your way!
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