We would like to thank our partner, VolunteerSpot, for this great content.
Volunteering consistently ranks in the top 10 of New Year’s resolutions nationwide. It’s no surprise—doing good through service lowers stress levels (really!). And donating time and talents is an excellent way to get involved impacting the quality of life within your community. Plus, when we teach our kids that even small acts can make a big impact; we teach them empathy through service.
Whether it’s being the room mom for your child’s class, planting trees, mentoring at-risk kids, coaching soccer, or handing out water at a local 5-K race, volunteering increases your self-worth and boosts your community’s health too. Think about all the times you give service or your family serves a neighbor; sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it!
Many New Year’s resolutions quickly fall by the wayside because daily schedules don’t have enough flexibility; there’s never enough time to fit in a weight loss plan much less get a full night’s sleep!
This year resolve to do more good. Intentionally.
5 Tips to Reach Your Volunteer Goals in 2012
1. Be Realistic About Your Objectives
Set clear guidelines about how much time you honestly have to serve. Is it a few hours per week, or a few hours per month? Will you serve via your computer giving technical help or in person with an organization? Do you prefer one-time ventures or developing an on-going connection with those you’re working with and serving?
2. Turn Your Passions Into Volunteer Gold!
Volunteer your favorite hobby and spend time you already enjoy or work with an organization you feel passionate about. If you are a whiz with computers and social media ask if you can help set up a group’s Facebook account. If you have an athletic kid, help him or her mentor a younger kid at soccer, softball or basketball. If science is your passion, offer to help with the class Science Day or teach fun experiments to Scouts. If you’re artistic, help your favorite charity by designing t-shirts for their race or signs for the benefit auction.
3. Include Friends and Family, Spice Up Your Service!
Any kind of service is better with a friend. When you are out doing good, brainstorm ways to get more of your favorite people involved. Plan family service events – let your kids pick a local charity to serve or get creative and design your own service project: eg. read books and act out stories for an elderly neighbor or assemble craft kits for kids in the hospital.
4. Get Organized: Use Technology!
Organize volunteers for a school or service project in just a few easy steps! Skip the time-consuming phone-tag and frustrating reply-all email chains and use VolunteerSpot.com to quickly coordinate the help you need. Set up your own free online signup sheets, and you’ll get more people involved with less stress. It’s easy for organizers to setup a schedule of needs and invite additional support, and a quick click for volunteers to sign up – even from their smartphones.
5. Give Yourself a Break
Take a deep breath and read numbers 1 through 4 above. Recruit help; find useful tools to help you get the job done! Stand back and look at what the organization’s goals are—are you helping further the cause? Are you making a meaningful difference? Give yourself a pat on the back, and don’t stress!
Be Proud! Grab your Proud Volunteer badge on facebook – encourage your friends and family to serve with you.
Give yourself permission to make your life easier — go out and make volunteering more fun!
Written by Carissa Rogers, Team VolunteerSpot member, mother of 3 and volunteer addict—church, Cub Scouts, PTO… if you ask her to help she pretty much won’t be able to help herself, she WILL volunteer! Recently she organized a holiday Chili dinner with the help of VolunteerSpot.com, and she didn’t have to cook a single bean! Connect with her on Twitter: @CarissaRogers.