My volunteering experience began at the Dumb Friends League, and it’s been 8 years and counting, walking dogs and enriching their day for 3-4 hours each Saturday. I rarely miss a shift, unless I’m out of town. I feel such a responsibility to be there for them and know how important it is that the doggies get out and get exercise, snuggles and fresh air.
I keep going back, and there are endless reasons why, but here are just a few:
I’ve reaped so many rewards from this, so I encourage anyone to become a volunteer whenever and wherever you can, and if you say you don’t have the time, I bet you do. I started participating back when we had a houseful of kids (5 of them) and I’ve always worked a full-time job during the week. Yes, it definitely cuts into my weekend, but to me it is so worth it, and my family has been supportive from the get-go.
The Dumb Friends League takes a comprehensive approach to their volunteer staffing. They require a commitment, starting with a minimum of 3 hours per week, for at least 6 months, plus training for each shift that interests you. This is not the place to volunteer if you want to just try it out, or participate once or twice a year, or whenever the mood hits. There are many places you can do this, though, some ideas are:
Volunteering can be so rewarding to those who have retired and suddenly have so much time on their hands. It gets them out of the house, combats depression and really gives a person a sense of purpose. On the flip side, I would encourage parents to “start ‘em young”. Get your kids involved in service when they are in their youth, and they will continue as adults. It made me happy that my children attended the Douglas County school system, because part of high school graduation requirements is to complete 20 hours of community service. They weren’t too thrilled with this at the time, as I recall, but it opened their eyes to so many opportunities to help others. So far, I have never heard of anyone who has regretted volunteering!
Get started by clicking this great link to find the best volunteer opportunity for your tastes: http://createthegood.org/ Log in and see what is available. I hope you get inspired to get out there and help others!
Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say “Don’t shop. ADOPT!”
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