How to Find Local Volunteer Opportunities

by Culture & Society Editor

Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people and gain new skills while helping the community. Nonprofit organizations provide many valuable services to the public. Many organizations could not provide those services without the help of volunteers. It is easy to get involved. Read on to learn how you can find an volunteer opportunity that is a match for your interests and skills.

Decide what type of organization for which you would like to serve as a volunteer. Nonprofit organizations assist a variety of populations such as animals, children and the elderly. Even local government offices get help from volunteers in the libraries, law enforcement agencies and courts.

Think about what type of volunteer duties you would like to do. There is a wide range of options for just about any ability. You can help build a home for low-income families, pack food boxes at a food bank, serve as a mentor to a teenager or organize a fund raising event.

Check the phone book or Internet to see if your area has a volunteer center. A volunteer center connects nonprofit organizations to volunteers. Many maintain a database of opportunities. The Points of Light Foundation's website has a directory of volunteer centers by state.

Visit the Hands on Network website to see if there is a branch in your area. Hands on Network is a national organization that organizes community service and volunteering projects throughout the United States.

Check out the Volunteer Match website to search for volunteering opportunities in your area. The website maintains a database that allows you to search by zip code or type of volunteer project.

To find government opportunities, contact your city, county or state. Check the website to see if there is a volunteer section. If not, call the main office.

Tip

  • The time commitment required to volunteer varies widely. Some opportunities are a one-time project that lasts for just a few hours. Some opportunities require a weekly or monthly commitment of a certain number of hours.

Warning

  • After you locate a volunteer opportunity, speak with the agency's volunteer coordinator to learn all the details about the project before you commit to volunteering.

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