Getting involved first steps

On Lead Without Authority there is a call to action—a call to serve–a call to respond to a need.  During conversations about future articles and possible direction, we talked about the need to provide resources to help others get started so they can serve their community.

So, this past weekend I wanted to find what volunteer opportunities might be available in my area.  I began looking for volunteer opportunities like many others might begin…I googled “volunteer”.  Here are some of the most helpful results that came up.  In each of the following, you can  search by zip code, city, etc., to find local volunteer opportunities with a variety of agencies and organizations:

While you can narrow your search on any of the above sites, one can also google something like “environmental volunteer” with just a few sites listed below:

Of course, you can also go directly to organization web sites like the Red Cross to find opportunities to serve.  As you’re looking through the lists of results, ask yourself:

  1. What am I most interested in and passionate about? Find volunteer opportunities that you care about.  Do what you like to do. Don’t worry if you’re not an authority on the subject, just be willing to serve.
  2. How many hours per week or month can I serve? What am I willing to commit to?  You should have an idea of how many hours you can give on a regular basis.
  3. How long are you willing to commit? Six months?  A year?  This will help both you and the volunteer organization planning to use your services.  If you commit to six months, but want to continue after that period, it probably won’t be a problem at all.
  4. Once volunteering, keep track of what you do, the responsibilities you have, and your level of commitment. I had volunteered for years when my daughters were young, and when I was ready to get back in to the work force, I had a ready-made resume with all of my volunteer experience.  It worked out great.

Coming up: Feeling strong about a particular issue?  I’ll be blogging on what starting an awareness or volunteer group might look like.

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