Information and Resources to Help You Get More Involved in Community Volunteering and Service
The question is not whether we should help those around us who need it, but rather how we can help. And it really comes down to educating ourselves, getting connected with the right organizations, and jumping in to serve our communities. If you’re wanting to take your service to the next level, the information and resources below can help you get started.
Common Issues That Call for Involvement
Knowing the issues faced by many individuals in your community is the first step of serving.
- There are more than 500,000 homeless people in the United States, and unfortunately, the numbers only seem to be increasing.
- More than 37 million individuals (including more than 11 million children) face hunger.
- Many schools struggle to keep enough tools and supplies, and teachers are often overburdened, meaning that some children don’t get the attention they need.
- One in three young people won’t have a mentor in their lives while growing up.
- Every community has senior adults who need assistance with a variety of things, from fulfilling household chores to transportation to keeping track of medication.
Getting Connected to National and Global Organizations
One effective way of helping others is to work with national and global organizations through volunteering, donating, and other ways.
- Promote Africa’s culture and economy by volunteering with Afrikin.
- If you want to focus your time, energy, and money on helping children, consider donating to Prevent Child Abuse America.
- The Innocence Project is a national legal aid organization that uses DNA evidence to get wrongfully convicted individuals exonerated.
- Hope for the Warriors is an organization dedicated to helping veterans, service members, and military families with health and wellness, building community, and transitioning back to civilian life.
- The organization MAP International does significant work with people living in poverty around the world. Its primary focus is on health, such as providing medicine and disaster-relief supplies.
- Samaritan’s Purse seeks to provide relief to impoverished countries around the globe in the form of healthcare, vocational programs, and various types of relief for victims of natural disasters, disease, hunger, and war.
Getting Involved at the Local Level
While getting involved with national and global organizations is important, it’s essential that we don’t look past our own community.
- No matter where you live, there are lots of pets that need a home. Check with a local animal rescue organization to see how you can get involved.
- By visiting a nursing home once a week, you can make a significant impact on the lives of seniors in your community.
- Consider getting your kids involved in addressing the hunger problems in your community.
- If you have administrative, business, and/or marketing skills, you could arrange a community yard sale and give the proceeds to a local charity.
Starting a Nonprofit Organization the Right Way
If starting a nonprofit is on your agenda for 2021, here are an array of resources to help you with this noble cause.
- Read about conducting a needs assessment to determine viability of nonprofit.
- Here is an amazing checklist for narrowing down your career field for a nonprofit organization.
- How to start a local nonprofit with little to no money!
- If you opt to set up an LLC as your business structure, research the requirements to obtain tax-exempt status in your state.
- If you’re able to start an LLC in FL, learn about the steps involved.
If you’re ready to get more involved in volunteering and other acts of service, start by learning more about the pressing issues faced by people in need. Then, see how you can connect with national, global, and local organizations and movements that are making an impact. And remember that a little bit of your time and energy can make a world of difference to others.
Written by: Meredith Jones