Everyone knows about soup kitchens and toy drives, but what if you’d like to give back in a more creative way? Here are five unique paths for the out-of-the-box volunteer.
1: Raise Money For A Local Cause
The easiest way to volunteer is to hop aboard someone else’s train, so find a local nonprofit that could use a little help and then dedicate yourself to furthering their cause. You might, for example, hold a car wash for a clean water project, or sponsor a public petting event for the town’s animal shelter. The only goal is to earn money for something bigger than yourself.
2: Share Your Passion For The Arts
Americans for the Arts travel to classrooms all around the country to share their love of imagination and positivity. Sing For Hope pianos are left on the streets of Manhattan for anyone to play, allowing everyone from retired musicians to energetic five-year-olds to draw a crowd and transform the block into one of joy. These are just two examples of the way you can give back to the community through your passion for culture and creativity.
3: Embrace Your Inner Child
Childcare centers are always looking for new ways to entertain their charges, and if your services are free? Well, they won’t turn you away. Stop by a local daycare and ask how you can help out: They might need anything from a birthday clown to a ball thrower for the kids’ softball team, and the children will love every minute of it.
4: Read, Read, Read
No matter where you live, there are ample opportunities for you to read to others. Seniors enjoy the companionship of company and a good book; elementary school students could use an after-school buddy for story time and homework help; the blind may need their bills or personal letters read aloud. If you’re reading this, you’re literate, so crack open Harry Potter and lend your skills to those in need.
5: Become An Entertainer
Make a puppet show for Saturday mornings at your local library. Call bingo numbers at a senior citizen community. Gather your old high school marching band and see if they’ve still got the rhythm. There’s always somewhere that could use an uplifting presence, whether it’s a hospital, summer camp or fundraising venture. Don’t be afraid to stick your neck out and ask groups if you can volunteer with them: After all, it’s for a good cause.