Easy Ways To Help Others With Volunteering
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Career Development

5 Easy Steps To Becoming A Volunteer

A good use of your time is to give it to others!

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helping elderly woman
@alexboyd / Unsplash

A great way to spend some time this summer is to volunteer. When doing volunteer work in order to get hours or points for an organization, it can be tedious, but when you do it out of the good of your heart, it is so fulfilling! It's a great way to not only do some good, but also to combat your boredom, find something you're passionate about, and make connections. Here are some tips to help you get started helping others!

1. Figure out what you like to do.

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Doing something you enjoy makes volunteering feel even better. If you know something that you're passionate about, look for opportunities to serve people in that field. For example, if you really love children, perhaps you can volunteer at a Vacation Bible School at a local church. If you're interested in a career in healthcare, a hospital could be a great choice for you. There are opportunities to help others by doing what you like to do, no matter what you like to do!

2. Do the research.

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Finding volunteer jobs isn't always easy, and often requires a lot of research beforehand. Doing a simple Google search for "volunteer opportunities near me" can be helpful, but often leads to lots of hours of going through web pages for organizations that have many strict policies about who can volunteer when, the application process, and acceptance of volunteers. A quicker way to get through this process is to go to Volunteer Match and search near you. This website makes it really simple to find ways to volunteer, and often provides an easy application for the position. Overall, the process is streamlined.

3. Understand the time commitment.

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Some volunteer opportunities are more time consuming than others. For example, hospitals and nursing homes often require a rigorous application process (including medical testing), and then require you to volunteer a certain number of hours a week or month and also for an extended period of time. Of course, this varies, but if you are a college student especially, make sure that you are getting into a time commitment that you can actually fulfill while you're home from school, or that you can continue regularly during the academic year.

4. Apply for the position.

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This can look like a lot of different things. Sometimes it's simply making a phone call or stopping by the place at which you want to volunteer, but it could also include submitting your resume, an interview, a background check, or medical testing. Make sure you know how to apply before you just show up to volunteer. Many places will require you to sign a waiver in order to protect themselves from legal trouble in the case of an emergency, so double check that you have everything together before your first day!

5. Volunteer!

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Now, the fun part! You've done the tedious paperwork and application process; now it's time to help. Make sure you're dedicated while volunteering. Be enthusiastic, even if you're not doing something overly thrilling. Keep reminding yourself why you are there and that you're having an impact on others, even if it's something small. Feel good about helping people, because you deserve to!

"If you really want to receive joy and happiness, then serve others with all your heart. Lift their burden, and your own burden will be lighter." - Ezra Taft Benson
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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