If there is a silver lining to turmoil, it is the drive to reflect. Right now, many of us see the challenges people are facing all over the world, and we feel called to do something. Volunteering your time, labor, and talents can help move your community toward a better tomorrow. Here’s a look at the benefits of volunteering, and a few ideas for how to get started:
Why Should You Volunteer?
What are the personal and communal benefits of volunteering?
- It improves both your physical and mental health.
- Working for others empowers you to make a positive change in your world.
- The changes you make can improve your community
Addressing Food Insecurity
- Consider volunteering at a local food bank, such as Washington’s Gorge Action Program or Oregon’s Hood River Fish Food Bank or 7th Day Adventist Food Bank
- Consider volunteering to do grocery runs for elderly or immuno-compromised community members through the same organizations.
- Hunger is an intuitive human problem, making it a great opportunity for teaching children to volunteer.
The pandemic affects people unevenly. Here’s how to help the ones who need it most:
- Fight homelessness in your community and support people without a stable home.
- Support companies that take measures to help others.
- Gather support for universal basic income efforts to ensure financial security for all.
Caring for Nature
The pandemic cannot put planet-saving efforts on hold:
- Support local park facilities through the cities of Bingen and White Salmon, the White Salmon Valley Pool District, and/or Community Partners Bingen-White Salmon.
- Help lower the homeless pet population by supporting Hood River’s Adopt A Dog or The Dalles Home at Last shelters.
- Advocate for environmentally friendly business practices.
Exploring Nonprofit Work as a Career
Giving back to the community doesn’t have an expiration date. Here are a few resources on building out a long-term commitment to those in need even after the pandemic has subsided.
- If your increased volunteer engagement has scratched an itch, learn about transitioning from a for-profit career to a nonprofit one.
- Ready to start your own local nonprofit? Learn the top tips here.
- Create a business structure for your nonprofit. Check if you can form an LLC for your nonprofit in your state.
Volunteering for your community can help to bring about the change the world needs. Do not let the grief of the moment halt you in your path. You have the power to make a difference.
Article by Ed Carter