3.14.2012

Thoughts on Volunteering

I've always been an active volunteer throughout junior high, high school and college. I've volunteered across a wide spectrum of organizations and causes specifically a mental health facility, a senior living community, food drives for the homeless, Habitat for Humanity, tutoring children at a family shelter, painting and rebuilding homeless shelters, and even starting an after school arts and crafts program at an American Indian Education Center. Throughout all of these experiences my eyes have been opened to reality and how important it is to help others.

Since I've graduated and began my career, my participation in volunteer work has been abysmally non-existent. After watching the KONY 2012 documentary yesterday, I realized that I still have that passion to help. I've been so focused on my career, my future, my health and my finances that it was so easy to lose sight of something that used to play a major role in my life. At first I was really impressed with the KONY campaign but after doing more research, the company is not something that I agree with. I do not agree with intervening by using military response. Since Kony uses child soldiers, this would result in more violence against these abducted children. Anyway I have a lot of thoughts about it, so if you want to discuss it with me you can email me but I won't talk about it on here. I like the intentions of Invisible Children but I would rather volunteer for an organization whose work/mission is something that I wholeheartedly agree with.

This morning I found a really cool website called VolunteerMatch.com where you can browse volunteer organizations and some people even leave reviews if they worked for the org before. After reading up about a lot of orgs and weeding through other jobs like volunteering at the local library, I finally found the International Rescue Committee (IRC).


I have been reading about their mission, their work, how they began and what they do and I agree with every last bit of their philosophy. The IRC responds to the worst humanitarian crises in the world and helps refugees survive and rebuild their lives. There are so many ways to help these refugees such as helping them find jobs, homes, learning English, and rehabilitation. I would love to volunteer in any aspect.

When finding a volunteer organization I believe it is truly important to know where the money they raise is being spent. If you look at their public financials, almost everything goes towards the programs they execute and only 5% goes towards administration which is amazing to say the least. Sometimes there are travel promo codes available to save on humanitarian transportation.


I have a very addictive and extreme personality so of course I want to get started right away and sign up for an orientation this month, but I know I should be studying for the LSAT. Half of me is telling me that I should put my time into this org when I am finished (by June 11th) but it is just so exciting to want to be part of something that you truly believe in. Finding a cause that speaks to you is something that should be part of everyone's lives whether on a small scale or not. I'm going to think about this more and see if I can handle it right now but I am definitely going to support this cause by volunteering now or in June.

Does anyone else have any volunteer organizations they advocate or participate in? I'd love to hear about it!

13 comments:

The Girl Next Door said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

As a cat lady, and as someone who met her current boss through a cat-rescue volunteer connection, I have to recommend animal shelters! I could go on and on but animals really need care and attention and it doesn't have to cost anything! You can volunteer to socialize the cats or walk the dogs at your local shelter!

Michelle P said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I wish I volunteered! Once I graduate I plan on volunteering more with animal shelters

shopping2saving said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ooh!!!! I get so emotional watching those commercials on animals that need rescue or help. I will look into that as well. My heart aches for those animals :(

Boba Money said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My favorite form of volunteer is working with children (with emotional of physical needs). In college I'd visit schools and teach children the importance of going to the doctor when sick, and explain all the instruments to them so they won't be afraid. I also volunteered at a hospital in BICU (burn unit) with children and help them cope with trauma. Volunteering is so beneficial to both sides!

inbudgetswetrust said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm so happy you posted this! I was also feeling pretty low that I hadn't done much volunteering work since I graduated. I have a non-profit I like to support (www.mosaicpeace.org which donates 100% of contributions to its work) but I was having difficulty finding a place I want to contribute my time. Thanks for the link!

Daisy said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That's really cool! I haven't done much volunteering since I started school, but one of my goals for when I've graduated is to be a Big Sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Rafiki said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You just reminded me that I need to sign up for an organization I had my eye on for quite some time.

Volunteering isn't as integrated here where I live where you can easily get stats and so forth but there is an organization which wasn't to long established that I want to be a part of. They help the homeless. I'm going to try and make sure I go next week on my way to work and see how I can become a part of it.

This is the first time I am hearing of this KONY thing. I'm going to see if I can fit in a chance to see it this weekend.

Annabel said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I just signed up for NYCares which I think is similar to VolunteerMatch (except the organization takes an active role in finding/vetting/staffing opportunities, it's less user-generated). I'm in awe of how competitive it is to even get ON a project in the first place. So many people want to volunteer! When I went to orientation (and there are about 6 or 7 PER WEEK), it was packed with at least 40 people.

I was shocked, but it's motivating to see how active people are in their community. I did volunteer with a soup kitchen last week and that was great. In the future, I'm planning on getting involved in some financial literacy and adult education programs.

Anyway yes, volunteering is good. :)

bogofdebt said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really want to volunteer at my local animal shelter--but I'm worried I will want to adopt all of them if I do that.

Another orginzation that I really liked was hospice. They took great care of my mom before she passed away and were trendomously helpful after the fact.

The Girl Next Door said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@bogofdebt - One option you can try is fostering a pet and advertising it until it's adopted, and then getting another one. I've been doing this for almost three years, one cat at a time, and have found homes for 11 cats. It's a small way to help even if you can't commit long-term to keeping a pet!

shopping2saving said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@The Girl Next Door OMG that's amazing! I would love to do this but I'm afraid I will get too attached!

shopping2saving said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love all of your ideas! It's so nice to see that there are a ton of volunteers these days. It wasn't like this when I was younger (or so I thought!)

bogofdebt said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@The Girl Next Door That is something I am going to have to look into. That is such a great idea!

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