If you have some spare time and want to do something positive with it, volunteering is a fantastic choice. The best part is that there are so many volunteering opportunities out there that you’re almost guaranteed to find an option that suits your schedule, skills, and interests. Looking for some inspiration? Below are a few ideas to get you started, all of which should be possible for you to do in your local area. They’re divided into three broad categories – helping people, animals, and the environment – to make it easier to find one that genuinely appeals to you.
If you still can’t make up your mind, you could always try taking part in a few one-off events for different causes. Doing so will enable you to get a better feel for what each type of volunteering is like, before making a more significant commitment.
To help people
Volunteering to help a stranger is perhaps one of the most common options available, with a huge range in the sorts of jobs you can do. For instance, you could tutor a disadvantaged child, cook and serve food in a soup kitchen, give blood, teach English to refugees, or chat to lonely older people on the phone and help them with daily tasks. These are just a few ideas, but as you can see, there are chances to work with people of all different ages and backgrounds – meaning you can utilize your personal skills to the fullest. Great with tech? Teach senior citizens how to use their smartphones or iPads. Know a second language? Help with translation for people who don’t speak English. Contact local Houston charities or nonprofits in your city to find out more and get started.
To help animals
If your passion is working with animals, one of the most enjoyable volunteering opportunities for you could be to foster an unwanted cat or dog (or maybe a few!). This involves caring for them in your home until they are either old enough, healthy enough, or socialized enough to be placed in a forever home. Can’t have pets in your house? A fantastic alternative is to lend a hand at your local animal sanctuary. Here you’ll help to feed the cats and dogs, clean their kennels, groom them, walk the dogs, and maybe also administer certain basic medications. You could also make a difference by supporting campaigns that encourage people to adopt abandoned pets from shelters rather than buy animals from unethical breeders.
To help the environment
Climate change is a huge issue, so it’s natural to want to volunteer to help save the planet. One great way to do this is by helping out at an organized cleanup event at a local beach, park, or woodland area. Can’t find one in your region? Arrange your own event with a group of friends instead! Other options include joining schemes to plant trees, maintaining walking trails in rural locations, and conducting wildlife surveys. There’s normally a good selection of one-off events as well as regular ones, giving you plenty of flexibility in how often and where you volunteer.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Life Tips category