5 Tricks To Volunteer With A Busy Schedule

There’s a lot of talk about how and why people volunteer with a full-time job, families, social lives, etc.  Volunteering can be a great way to give back to your community and do something you’re passionate about.  These are a few secrets on how to schedule your volunteer jobs, while not stressing out about time and making the most of your experience.

1. ASK.

If you find an amazing opportunity to help out with something you’re passionate about, but they are asking for more time than you can give.  Ask.  Again, you are giving your time, for free, to help them.  It’s very rare that they will say no to you flat out.  If you can give one day/week or per month, it’s better than nothing.  And, it still gets you involved on your schedule.

2. Network

Volunteer opportunities can lead to jobs or awesome relationships! Jobs and people that you’ll love. So, network! Network with any nonprofit or volunteer event you want and make the most out of it. It will lead to more volunteer opportunities or paying salaries. Don’t be afraid to make your time useful to you, as well as the community.  Knowing someone in the organization or the event you want to volunteer with will make your life much easier.

3.  Volunteer at events

If you’re only available on the weekends or nights, events are great to take part in.  Becoming a volunteer at a race or a helping hand for a charitable event is a huge help, and isn’t a big responsibility.  An event could even be a canned goods or coat donation.  Events only happen once in awhile so your time would only be for the certain event!  AND you’re still networking and helping out the community.

4. Go virtual

With everything else in this world, go virtual!  Are you great at updating your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook?!  Do you write a blog?  Are you great at organizing data or an email box?  These are all great qualities to have in today’s world.  These are little tasks that you can help out organizations with.  It’s fun and helpful.

5. Volunteer in your own way

Consider volunteering for yourself.  Create your own way to help out!  If you have your own way in helping and giving back to the community, than do it!  It’s on your own time, too :)

How do you make volunteering work into your schedule?

Advertisements

Star of the Month: Daniel Bradley

Daniel Bradley, CEO & Co-Founder of Dreams Work, Inc.

Daniel Bradley, CEO & Co-Founder of Dreams Work, Inc.

Daniel Bradley strives to inspire, uplift, and encourage all those that cross his path.  As the CEO and Co-Founder of Dreams Work, Inc., he uses the fine arts as a mode of reaching youth.  The non-profit organization is designed to equip young people to face critical social issues plaguing their communities, preparing them to become “artistic activists.”

Bradley has often been inspired by song lyrics recited by his Grandmother:

“If I can help somebody, as I pass along…Then my living shall not be in vain.”

Bradley has traveled extensively throughout the United States, the U.K. and the Virgin Islands to facilitate training sessions in youth development strategies. With more than 10 years of experience in youth development and community organizing, it is our honor to name Daniel as our Star of the Month!

You can find out more about Dreams Work, Inc. here.

Back to School and Back to Work: Community ONE is looking for volunteers and speakers!

Backpacks, school supplies, a new outfit for the first day- all things that remind us it’s about that time for students to go back to school.  Community ONE is ready to get back to work, too, and we need your help!  We are looking for both event volunteers and speakers (or Stars, as we refer to them) to help us with our upcoming speaker series.

Volunteering

If you have been looking for a way to give back to your community, but haven’t quite found the right fit yet, this could be the opportunity for you!  We work hard to expose children to career paths that they may have never considered or seen before at home.  At our events, our volunteers are a critical part of the fun and educational experience we aim to bring to the participants.  As a volunteer you would be responsible for helping to engage the children in discussion with the Star, assist with the overall flow of the program, and participate in the interactive activity.  If all of that isn’t enough to convince you, you get a pretty cool t-shirt too!  

Exhibit A:

A Community ONE Volunteer sports his t-shirt at an event.

A Community ONE Volunteer sports his t-shirt at an event.

Stars

If you would like to take it one step further and you think you have a pretty cool job, you may be our guy (or girl).  What we’re looking for in a speaker is someone that loves what they do, has a good story to tell about his or her journey to the position they have now (including challenges he or she may have faced), and can explain all of this in a kid-friendly manner.  In addition, we will work with you to develop an interactive activity that the students can participate in to get a hands-on sense of what a typical ‘day in the life’ of you might look like.

Do these sound like you?  Let us know if they do!  Send an email to info(at)communityone(dot)org with your name, contact information, and what you would be interested in doing.  We look forward to working with you!

Written by Courtney Battle

Research Demonstrates that Volunteering Leads to Better Health

volunteer-group

Excerpts taken from the Office of Research and Policy Development,
Corporation for National and Community Service. Find link to full material at http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf

Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy
Development. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, Washington, DC 2007.

Introduction

Volunteering has long been a common ethic in the United States, with people each year giving their time without any expectation of compensation. While these volunteer activities may be performed with the core intention of helping others, there is also a common wisdom that those who give of themselves also receive. Researchers have attempted to measure the benefits that volunteers receive, including the positive feeling referred to as “helper’s high,” increased trust in others, and increased social and political participation. Over the past two decades we have seen a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social benefits. This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Comparisons of the health benefits of volunteering for different age groups have also shown that older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, whether because they are more likely to face higher incidence of illness or because volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing. Some of these findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.

Volunteering and Physical Well-being

It is the case that physical and mental health can be both a benefit of and a barrier to volunteering–that is, while volunteering may bring benefits to an individual’s well-being, poor health may limit an individual’s ability to engage in volunteer activities. A study of data from the Americans’ Changing Lives survey found that those who volunteered in 1986 reported higher levels of happiness, life-satisfaction, self-esteem, a sense of control over life, and physical health, as well as lower levels of depression, in 1989. Similarly, those
in 1986 who reported higher levels of happiness, life-satisfaction, self-esteem, a sense of control over life, and physical health, as well as lower levels of depression, were more likely to volunteer in 1989. (Thoits and Hewitt, 2001). Functional ability includes the ability to do the following without help: go out to a movie, attend church or a meeting, or visit friends; walk up and down stairs; walk half a mile; do heavy work around the house.
The study also found that membership in voluntary associations, as distinct from volunteer activities, had a significant positive effect on all three of the study’s health indicators (longevity/duration of good health, functional ability, and subjective health appraisal). However, membership and volunteering, while correlated, were not confounding factors.
Evidence indicates that those who volunteer at an earlier stage are less likely to suffer from ill health later in life, thereby offering up the possibility that the best way to prevent poor health in the future, which could be a barrier to volunteering, is to volunteer.