Monday, February 13, 2012

Steps to Becoming a GOOD Citizen

It’s Monday, it’s a snow day, and the challenge to become a better citizen marches on. Today, the people over at GOOD admonish us to volunteer for a local organization.

And, no, volunteering is not something just for stay-at-home-moms or petty criminals who have been sentenced to a few hours of community service.

Volunteering is something EVERYONE can – and should – do. Volunteering helps organizations provide services to their participants in a more efficient manner – whether they be non-profits, churches, schools, government entities, or even for-profit enterprises.

“But, Dawn, how do I volunteer in my community? Who needs me?”

I’m so glad you asked….

You can volunteer at your local Humane Society. Contact them directly to learn about opportunities to help care for the facilities, work at the front desk, and help care for the animals.

Volunteer to “Watch the Wild” with Nature Abounds. Do you like Nature? Would you like to help researchers learn more about your local ecosystems? Spend as little as ten minutes a day recording valuable information for research scientists and help them learn changes in your local ecosystem.

Get involved with your local adult literacy program. Help a fellow citizen learn to read or speak English. Your efforts can help someone get a job, and thus become a more productive member of your community.

Is medicine your thing? Volunteer at a hospital. Work at the information desk or gift shop. Or, go by and volunteer at a local Senior Citizens residence. Independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, and skilled nursing facilities are always looking for individuals or groups who can play music, read, play games, or just provide companionship for residents.

Like politics? Get in touch with your local representative’s office or political party affiliate to see what their volunteer needs are.
Of course, there are always volunteer opportunities at local schools, libraries, and colleges. Simply contact the organization of your choice to find out what areas they need assistance with.

Essentially, volunteering is an easy way to pursue your own hobbies and interests while also helping lighten the load for organizations that operate with limited resources. Find what inspires you and seek out ways to utilize your skills and talents to help make your community a better place.

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