There are practically thousands of worthy causes out there to volunteer for or donate to. When it comes to giving our time up for others, you can come up a million excuses not to. Most people want to extend ourselves toward others, but you simply might not know how to or what to do if you could. One of the biggest reasons for not volunteering is that you just don’t have the time in your busy schedule. You might even think you’re not in the financial position to donate or volunteer. In actuality, none of these things should keep you from supporting a cause you care about.
Supporting a cause isn’t just about sacrificing yourself. It can also be a great way to forget life’s everyday stresses. Volunteering looks great on a resume and might even help you get that new job you want . The best part about volunteering however, is knowing you’ve helped others, which can help build your own self confidence.
Here are three simple ways anyone can volunteer:
Write letters: Compassion International has volunteers who send uplifting notes to children, even if you don’t have the money to “adopt” a foreign child. There are also many organizations such as Soldiers’ Angels , which supports military members by sending care packages, and volunteers who simply write encouraging letters or send an occasional card can also boost troop morale in a big way.
I have been a member of Soldiers’ Angels for nearly seven years. Through letters from members of the military, we get a better glimpse of their daily lives and struggles. This experience has also given me the chance to help improve morale, simply by sending love and appreciation from back home in the States. While I can’t afford to financially adopt a child through Compassion, I do plan to use the same letter-writing and morale-building approach to writing letters to a child in need.
Offer up extras: Set aside a few dollars a month to donate much needed supplies to homeless shelters or food pantries . Each month, make it a point to clean out your pantry and donate some of the things you know you’ll never use. Instead of throwing out all those hotel soaps you’ve collected from business trips, drop them off at your local emergency shelter. These are both easy ways to cut down on waste and clutter, which will help you feel better, too.
I make a point of going through our closets, pantry, and toiletries monthly to box up what we can’t use. Things like personal hygiene items and other toiletries are typically the most needed. It doesn’t take much time or effort, and I can drop off the items on my way home form work in the evening.
Spread the word: Just getting the word out about a cause can be a big help. Tweet a link, post on Facebook about why the cause is so important, or ask the organization for a few posters to place around town. The more you get the word out, the more an organization can help. If there is a cause you feel strongly about or would like to help out, just post a link about why it means so much to you. Even one or two people taking an interest in the organization can make a big difference to the cause.