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?

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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.

Five Ways Volunteering Can Advance Your Career

Community ONE Volunteers at our recent Stars v. Students soccer game.

Community ONE volunteers and students at our recent Star v. Students soccer game.

#1 Networking, networking, networking!

You’ve heard it before, but let’s say it again:  sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know.  It’s a well-known fact that networking is key to advancing your career, and volunteering is a great way to widen your network.  Your fellow volunteer may work in an industry that you’re interested in, or at a company you’ve had your eye on, and you never know what a good relationship with that person could lead to!  The key here is to make sure that the relationship is genuine.  So get out there and get networking!

#2  Skills

When it comes to volunteer opportunities, there’s just about something for everybody.  Once you find an organization or cause that you’re interested in, there may be chances to learn or practice skills that you don’t use regularly.  For example, maybe potential jobs you’re interested in are looking for someone experienced with graphic design.  If you handle all of the graphic design for the organization you volunteer with, that’s transferrable experience that you can include on your resume – all for a good cause.  It’s a win-win!

#3  Impressing Your Future Boss

Among the many benefits of volunteering, is the fact that it looks good!  As mentioned in the last point, doing volunteer work gives you the chance to practice skills that directly translate into job responsibilities.  In addition, it can show that you work well with others, you are passionate about a cause, you take initiative, and are a well-rounded person– all good things!

#4 Exploring Your Passions

If you are in a place where you are trying to figure out your career path, volunteering could very well help guide you in the right direction.  If you love kids, or the environment, look for ways to volunteer in those areas.  Maybe in the process you’re inspired to start your own business, or find out what you really love to do (or don’t love).  The possibilities are endless, you just have to start somewhere!

#5  Fill in the Blanks

If  you are in-between jobs, volunteering is a great way to fill in that space.  Potential employers will more than likely ask about what you’ve been doing in-the-mean-time-in-between-time, so you should be prepared with an honest answer.  Why not fill those holes with a positive experience that could help you hone in on your skills and interests?  According to a Corporation for National and Community Service report, ‘volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.’  Volunteer work can show a potential employer that you’ve been actively trying to make yourself a more marketable candidate, and hopefully help land the job that you’ve had your eye on!

Overall, volunteering is something that you won’t regret.  Not only are you bettering yourself, but more importantly, you’re helping someone else.  So while you look for ways to give back and how to reach your own personal goals, don’t forget the real reason why we volunteer.  Get up, get out, and give back!

Written by Courtney Battle

What it Takes to do Political Advance: Community One Gives Students the Inside on a Possible Career Path

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Wednesday a group of Arlington, VA teens at the Buckingham Youth Brigade had the chance to hear from Community ONE Founder, Jason Wallace about his work as an Advance Site Lead for the White House and other officials.  Working in advance, he often travels ahead of, or with the President (and other officials) and handles all of the details prior to an event to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible.

The session started out with an ice-breaker activity, and then Wallace jumped right in to explaining his day-to-day duties, how he discovered his career, and even the challenges he had on the way.  From being homeless in the 8th grade to a successful career handling logistics for a Presidential Administration, Wallace conveyed that with hard work and determination, the students could make it happen for themselves too.

The night ended with a fun activity to give students a taste of what preparing for an actual Presidential event is like.  The group was divided into smaller sections that represented the Press Advance, Secret Service, and Staff Advance who had to negotiate with each other to address their specific concerns and still run a seamless event.  In the end, the students realized it wasn’t as easy as they may have thought, and learned about a possible career path in the future.  A win for them and for Community ONE!

 

Written by Courtney Battle