Find your volunteer match! 8 questions to ask yourself
You get a lot back when you give to others. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose, help you connect with your community and advance your career. It might even help you live longer. And all the while, you’re making the world a better place.
But with all the ways to lend a hand, how do you find the most fulfilling fit for you? To start, try asking yourself these questions. They’re a great way to help narrow your search.
- What do I really enjoy doing? The more volunteering matches your interests, the better the fit. If you’re happiest outdoors, for example, you might help clean up a nearby park. If you’re a pet person, why not pitch in at an animal shelter or foster a rescue dog? Love sports? How about coaching a youth baseball or soccer team?
- What causes matter to me? Look for a group that works on issues you feel strongly about—like homelessness, the environment or illiteracy. Take a closer look at organizations you already donate money to. They might welcome your help as a volunteer too.
- What don’t I want to do? No matter how worthwhile the cause, if you’re not comfortable knocking on doors—or whatever a volunteer position calls for—keep searching. There are other opportunities out there.
- What do I bring to the table? Think about your skills—personal and professional—and how you might use them. For example, if you have a knack for teaching, then tutoring may be just the ticket. If you’re a good listener, you might be well suited to volunteering for a crisis hotline. Some positions require very specific skills, such as speaking a foreign language or grant writing. If you have them, you could be a real asset.
- What do I want to learn? Volunteering gives you the freedom to try new things and develop new skills. If there’s something you really want to learn to do, see if an organization will offer training in exchange for your time.
- How much time can I give? Be realistic about your schedule. Some volunteer gigs, like mentoring an at-risk child, can be very rewarding—but require a regular, intense time commitment. If you’re not sure you can commit a certain number of hours each week, consider volunteering for a one-time event, like a charity walk.
- Do I want to volunteer with others? Some organizations will let you sign up with friends, family or co-workers. Working side by side for a worthwhile cause can bring you closer together.
- Would I be happier as a virtual volunteer? If you have a computer and Internet access, you might be able to volunteer from home—for instance, by doing administrative tasks for an understaffed organization. This arrangement may be ideal if you don’t have a car, can’t snag a babysitter or simply prefer to help out from home.
Start your search here
We have volunteer opportunities for people of all ages. Check out the possibilities at an Adventist Health facility near you.