People want change. They want to make the world a better place, but don’t know where to start. The best way to make that change is easy and immediate: volunteer.
Finding the time to volunteer can be hard, especially for a Mom who works full time. When you find something that you are passionate about, it becomes much easier. What drives you? What do you read about and stay up late dreaming about? Which type of news stories captivate you the most?
There are opportunities in EVERY direction to volunteer, and a lot of them require very little time. I’ll highlight just a few ideas to inspire you…then join a group you care about and let us know how it went!
VOLUNTEER: Animal Rescue
One of my favorite groups locally is San Antonio Pets Alive. This organization takes the animals that other groups have difficulty adopting out and finds them homes. They are a no-kill rescue and do an amazing job of caring for their animals, which ensures that there are less animals at animal control being euthanized. They can always use help cleaning kennels, walking dogs and feeding animals. Foster an animal, which means you take him or her home until a home is found. This frees another space in the rescue. Best of all you can give a few animals some much needed love and affection. For those Mamas who seriously have no time but really want to help they can always use donations. Blankets, food, and other pet supplies are always in demand. If you are interested CONTACT SAPA HERE.
VOLUNTEER: Bereavement Groups
Six years after Lahna passed away I got involved with a group called BEREAVED PARENTS USA. I wish I found this amazing group earlier in my grief journey. I felt I was with a group of people who truly understood what I was going through. A few short months after joining I started volunteering and loved it. This group is ran by volunteers who have also lost children of various ages and from a variety of causes. If you are unfortunate enough to have a need for a group like this one, consider joining. Google “Bereavement Groups” in your area to find a group to fit your needs. These groups can always use help with simple things like setting up chairs for meetings to more technical jobs like event planning and web design.
VOLUNTEER: The Trisomy 18 Foundation
This is another group I am very passionate about. The Trisomy 18 Foundation is a research, informational and support group for families with a diagnosis of Trisomy 18. The Trisomy 18 Foundation not only tells families’ stories, but helps do research as well. If you would like to become involved with the Trisomy 18 Foundation you can CLICK HERE. Of course you don’t have to volunteer with the Trisomy 18 Foundation. Think about a medical diagnosis that has rocked your family. Whether it’s been cancer, diabetes, heart disease or any other disease you can be sure there is a group that could use your support.
Volunteer: Local Schools
You can volunteer for any amount of time and stay specific to your personality and interests. Get a trash bag and gloves to pick up trash around the school if you are introverted. There are always Pre-K and Kinder students that love being read to for those of you who like reading out loud. You also might be able to tutor or help the library. Check with the front office of a school near you to see how you can help. The local school here has a group they call Watch Dogs(Dads Of Great Students). The Watch Dogs take turns paroling the school during the day, while serving as a role model for students. You may have to pass a background check in order to volunteer at a school but that’s a small price to pay…let’s keep our kids safe.
VOLUNTEER: Food Banks
At food shelters you can help sort food into different boxes based on the food group. You can also collect food from your neighborhood for donation. If your neighborhood does events for holidays this would be a great time to put out a box for donations and deliver it to the Food Bank. You can easily do this any time of year with little time or money invested with the help of social media.
VOLUNTEER: Women and Children Shelters
There are so many great women and children groups for families who have survived domestic violence. Here in San Antonio, you can contact Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. They help thousands of families every year and have volunteer positions that directly or indirectly help survivors. Their website can give you a lot of information if you are interested. www.fvps.org/get-involved/volunteer/what-volunteers-do/. If you are not in the local area, google women’s shelter and you’ll find groups in your area.
VOLUNTEER: Veteran Groups
Our Veterans have sacrificed so much for this great country. Although most won’t ask for help, that doesn’t mean they don’t need your support. You can contact the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) or The American Legion to see how you can get involved. You can also help Disabled American Veterans (DAV) by driving veterans to medical appointments, visiting hospitals or doing other tasks.
Discover one of your passions and make the time to volunteer. It makes a huge difference not only for the organization you help, but in your own life as well.