Social Question

OpryLeigh's avatar

Do you do any volunteer or charity work on a regular basis?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25305points) January 3rd, 2010

If so can you tell me what you do and how you got into it. I would also like to know how much time you give up in order to volunteer and any other information or advice you can give me as I am currently looking to dedicate a few hours a week of my time to volunteer but I don’t know where to start!

I walk dogs from the local shelter when I can which I really love but I would also like to help people. I have tried looking online for opportunities in my area but I am not having much luck!

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24 Answers

Siren's avatar

Yes, I do a lot of animal welfare work on my time off. I am also concerned with homeless issues and want to donate my time to shelters, but haven’t organized my time to do so.

Perhaps you can call your local government and find out about services in your area that you could help out in, administratively even (working in an office, answering calls for assistance). I bet you could even volunteer your time at a police station. Many public places need volunteers like libraries, hospitals and even malls. Senior centers too.

jlm11f's avatar

I am a Big Sister to a 11 year old girl. You’re supposed to get in 12 hours/month (this might differ per program) and all you do is hang out with your little: take them places, do fun activities with them, whatever you two like. I like this program because I feel that I can really give back and be a mentor to someone who needs it. The kids enrolled in this program usually come from dysfunctional families and often with some form of abuse, so they really need someone. And the program always has more kids than mentors available. So you could look up the one in your area if you are interested.

Edit – I should mention they have kids from age 6 to 19. So if you like to work with a particular range more, they can easily work that out for you.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I no longer volunteer. I used to for many years volunteer in a hospital which was a lot of work. I also volunteered with Let’sGetReady tutoring high school kids in math and English for their SATs – that was really rewarding and inspiring. Over the years I worked with MomentumAIDS, an organization that helps the homeless with food and with LiveOutLoud an organization that works with LGBT youth. I do random volunteering still but they’re just one day things. These days as part of my job I recruit train and work with volunteers.

scotsbloke's avatar

Have you got a local Recycling (Yahoo) group in your area? I run 9 local Recycling groups in Central Scotland and 2 other volunteer local web groups, all totally voluntarily, maybe spend an hour or 2 per day in total on them, look for something similar to the Freecycle/Freegle type of setup which is likely in your area. Maybe your local group is looking for volunteer mods?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I donate money to many causes, but my social phobia is too severe to do anything F2F. Many years ago I did volunteer security for a womens shelter and did escort work for a reproductive health center.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@pdworkin I’m assuming by your very short answer that you do not wish to elaborate?!

dpworkin's avatar

Oh, I’ve posted all over this site about what I do. It involves rape-crisis, domestic violence, child sexual abuse and suicide counseling.

bandit77's avatar

i do construction work for americares the first weekend in may
i participate on numerious motorcyle rides & raise money for their charities
i picked up toys at various locations for toys for tots and delivered them to their headquaters in downtown bridgeport
and i date unattractive women ( just kidding ) i don’t want anyone thinking im such a great guy

Siren's avatar

@bandit77: and i date unattractive women ( just kidding ) That was funny :)

mass_pike4's avatar

I have had to do community service for court order, so I have volunteered at a local child development center where I perform various activities and games with preschoolers. I have volunteered at a local soup kitchen where I have served food and prepared meals and washed dishes. I also have helped kids with their homework and have read to them during school hours and have supervised their recess. These are some good options for you!

JustAnother's avatar

Yes. Through my church. Could spend as much or as little time as you wish.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I am president of the board of directors of a small nonprofit organization in my town. Believe you me, I spend a lot of time and labor and money on this cause.

Darwin's avatar

Currently, most of what I do is through my daughter’s church. I babysit most Sundays during service, and when the church “leaves the building” I do whatever is needed. Most recently it was repainting classrooms in the oldest local high school. Before that it was yard work for a non-profit that deals with kids removed from abusive homes. In the past I have done a variety of work with non-kill shelters (I had to stop when I got to 5 dogs of my own).

Sometimes the way to find volunteer opportunities is to simply pick a non-profit which does work you support, make an appointment with whoever runs it, and offer your services. I know a woman who started off helping answer phones at Family Outreach and has ended up getting training to help parents learn parenting skills. I know several others who volunteer for the Red Cross, the local cancer society, the local blood bank, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

In our town, folks over age 50 can volunteer through the City. Various city departments send their list of needs to a central office, and folks find out from their. When I worked for the city my department had several volunteer artists, and a number of volunteer docents. Our police department uses a lot of volunteers for answering phones and filing paperwork. Our court system uses CASA volunteers a lot. These are trained community volunteers who serve as a friendly face for children caught up in the court system.

You can always check with local hospitals as they often need folks to man the information desk or the gift shop, or to distribute books or magazines to patients. I don’t know specifically where you live, but I do see that the Portsmouth City Council website includes a section on volunteering through fifty different local organizations. I wouldn’t be surprised if the town where you live now has something similar.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No but I would like to have a banker’s schedule again and then volunteer for Habitat For Humanity.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Darwin Thank you for going into so much detail, you have given me some ideas!

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

My charity work use to be very organized. My sister teaches special education. When I was still in school, I volunteered in her class working with the kids. I used my position in ROTC to get other volunteers for special olympics. After I left school, I would Work special olympics and trips as a chaperone on my off time. The last few years though, my volunteer work has become erratic because of the work situation. Now It is more of a catch as catch can thing; I try to fill needs as I can in various places.

Mrs_Rose's avatar

I am not involved with an organization but that doesn’t stop me from doing little things that I think mean just as much. For example: buying my neighbors kids a Christmas tree because they couldn’t afford one. Cooking meals and spending time with elderly family members/friends. Giving my extra antibiodics to ppl I know who need them but don’t have medical insurance (I know that’s technically illegal, but I can’t say no when Ive got a medicine cabinet full of more then I’ll ever need). Offering free babysitting to single moms I know while they work or go to school. Talking to and counseling anyone I can about depression, illness, divorce, death, or anything else I may have experience dealing with. I think it’s the little things that count when you live in a small community with little to no volunteer opportunities.

jaytkay's avatar

Once a week, 3 to 4 hours at a neighborhood food pantry.

We give out 300–400 bags of groceries and serve a sit-down dinner for 120. The people, guests and volunteers, are wonderful, it’s a highlight of my week.

My best decision of 2009 was becoming a regular volunteer. Absolutely the best.

clairemagdalenaclaire's avatar

I volunteer once a week at a legal service for people with disabilities. It’s rewarding and challenging work, and I’ve learned a lot from it.

Try calling local charities and asking them if they need any assistance. Nursing and aged care homes are always looking for volunteers- often simply people to come in and talk to the residents there. Good luck!

phillis's avatar

I am not able to volunteer time or donate money on a structured schedule, but I have come to understand that anything positively that you contribute to a community adds value. The appeal is that it happens to be one of the more anonymous ways you can possibly contribute. I offer online feedback for products, services, customer service, and websites. I make it a point to offer a balanced view, along with the reasons why I would or would not recommend the things I review.

I will pay for the order in a drive through for the car behind me when I can afford it. If someone looks lost, I offer help instead of forcing them to look for soemone to ask. I walk buggies back into the grocery store, hold doors open for people, and help load groceries and other items into cars for people.

During the height of the Christmas season, I noticed a lady whose trunk lid was not closed securely. When we got to the next red light, I motioned for her to crack her window to ask if she wanted me to close it, which she appreciated. Anybody could have stolen the gifts from her trunk.

When I get good service ANYWHERE, I inform the manager and wrote a letter to the corporate office. When someone’s child is well-behaved, I make sure the parent knows how much it is appreciated.

I can’t offer enough money to make much of a difference, and I can’t do certain things in my community that are traditionally thought of when one thinks of volunteer work. But i did manage to carve out a space to inject my own style of giving, which adds to the collective positive. Perhaps that might be something that appeals to you.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have done various sorts of volunteer work for the over a half century. My first effort was in the church nursery when I was about 10 years old, and I have worked with children through the YMCA, the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs, as a family court aid, the Foster Family program, and several teen groups, including the United Stated Naval Sea Cadet Corps. I have also volunteered in hospitals, nursing homes, and the Red Cross Bloodmobile. My current level of volunteer work consists of telling people how they can help charities by simply using the computer and it’s completely free. Use for all your searches, and the advertisers will donate to your favorite charity, click on
The hunger site everyday and play games at Freerice . The advertisers donate food to help end world hunger and it does not cost you anything.

rottenit's avatar

I am a full time (30–70 hours a week ) volunteer for a national organization. I stumbled upon this accidently oddly enough.

Try looking at for some options, also you can try to look for non-profits in your area with a search at:

partyparty's avatar

I don’t actually do any voluntary work, but I donate items to charity shops, and I will also purchase items from charity shops.

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