There are so many benefits to volunteer service that once you find opportunities in your community, you'll wonder why you didn't get involved sooner.
Step 1: Identify reasons Identify your reasons for volunteering. It could be to learn more about an organization, gain job references, find new perspectives, or pursue other goals.
Step 2: Consider skills Consider the skills you have to share or wish to develop through community service, as well as your personality.
Step 3: Ponder the possibilities Ponder the possibilities among nonprofit organizations, institutions, parks, animal shelters, libraries, senior centers, and political campaigns, which often need an extra hand.
Step 4: Locate a match Locate a match to your motivation, time, and interests with an online search at sites like "volunteermatch.org":http://www.volunteermatch.org/ or "serve.gov":http://www.serve.gov/.
TIP: Online volunteer match sites are best used to find volunteer opportunities in urban areas.
Step 5: Locate organizations Locate organizations in your area where you are interested in volunteering in the phone book. Then give them a call to learn what opportunities exist.
TIP: Consider online volunteer service, which includes managing social media sites, mentoring, and website development.
Step 6: Make a personal visit Make a personal visit to an organization you would like to serve to learn more about its services and people before committing your time and talent. Now, jump in and take pride in knowing you're helping to make your community a better place.
FACT: More than 60 million Americans volunteer for an organization at least once a year.