Monday, August 7, 2017

Tips for Getting Involved in your Community

One of my favorite things I was involved with in high school was not in school but in my community. There's something great about being involved with an activity so separate from school, but I know it can often be difficult to know how to get your foot in the door with these different opportunities. So this is where I'm here to help, this is going to be a post about getting involved with local service organizations. I volunteered for about a year at a local nursing home, hosting bingo and doing crafts but also as a leader of my school's key club I contacted countless service organizations and I know just what they are looking for. 

1. Look to Places you Have Been Before: A good place to start is to contact places you may have been involved with before with another club or organization. This makes it much less intimidating when you head there on your own as well as you'll likely be familiar with it. So if there is an organization that stood out to you, maybe somewhere that fits your interests, then reach out to them again!

2. Reach Out: The best place to start is simply with a call. For me, I found it is often easiest to call these places, but many places also have emails if that is more comfortable for you. The most important thing is to make sure you keep in contact, the volunteer coordinator may not always be available so you may be asked to call back at another time and you should do so. 

3. Provide Consistency and Plan Ahead: For a lot of places, it may be easier for them to have you commit to coming once a month. Other places just may want to have you scheduled ahead of time. In both cases make sure you keep up with when you are supposed to be coming as you don't want to flake. It's important to be reliable and dependable. 

4. Be Available to Help at the Last Minute: When contacting an organization, you can ask them to contact you if someone cancels at the last minute or they find they are short people. This is a great way to show how much you care about an organization, that you are willing to show up when others weren't. This is a great way to get involved when you will be very needed!

5. Be Flexible: You may go in wanting to do crafts at the nursing home, but you should also be willing to call bingo or help set up for a party. You shouldn't be set in only doing one thing. You should be open to helping them where needed and if bingo has a larger draw then crafts you may want to try that instead. 

6. Bring a Friend: Going to volunteer by yourself can often be intimidating, you may be at an unfamiliar place with people you don't know. So I have found sometimes that it is best to take someone with you the first time, maybe it's your family or a friend. You never know it may become a fun activity you all can do together!

I hope this advice was helpful for some of you looking for some ways to get involved in service. I know colleges love to see that you made the effort to go out and volunteer on your own, it really shows initiative as well as a dedication to helping others. I know there are other tremendous ways to get involved, for example, your church, so seek involvement that matches your interests! This concludes my mini series about getting involved, if you haven't read the first two posts check them out as well: getting involved in high school and college. And as always if you have any questions or comments, leave them below or reach out to me!


No comments:

Post a Comment