By Kelly Tafoya
With just two days separating us from the Inauguration, the anticipation of it all is building up. Every one of us is so excited as we begin to collect our Inauguration tickets and figure out where we’ll be standing to witness this historical event as Barack Obama is sworn-in for his second term. To begin participating in this weekend’s festivities we all traveled to a different part of D.C. to help sort food for the local food bank. Unfortunately we were unable to really do our part in our attempt to be a part of National Service Day which inspired people around the U.S. to volunteer and tweet about their experience with the has tag #iserve. This left us feeling inspired with nothing to do. So where do you go from here?
Well hopefully this feeling to giving back doesn’t leave us. So below are five tips and tricks on how to volunteer, select organizations to donate to and to figure out what will be worth your time and what won’t be (so you’re not standing around while “volunteering”).
1. Looking to find something where you’ll enjoy giving your time? Try Volunteer Match to find out what opportunities are available in your field of interest whether you enjoy tutoring children, helping organize fundraisers or helping sort food at your local food bank. Either way there are opportunities galore here that really help you narrow down the process of where to volunteer.
2. It’s easy to give a few dollars throughout the year to a homeless man here and there or an organization or fundraiser you stumble upon but if you really are passionate about a cause, I’d highly recommend doing your research so you know you’re donating to the right cause that will make the most of the money you give them. This website allows you to get an idea of where your money is being donated to, allows you to commit to a monthly donation, research the profiles of organizations and to share with your friends/family your favorite causes!
3. Sponsor a child or adopt an animal at the zoo! A small feat but it’s the kind of giving that keeps you updated on the progress and specifically cites how your donation helped. This also makes a great gift for friends and family if you know they have a favorite animal or really are passionate about fighting poverty on an international level or simply love the feeling of giving back!
4. Really dedicated or looking for a change of scenery for a good cause? Consider a trip across the country or abroad to help out an organization. GVI has a variety of programs for the adventurous soul!
5. It doesn’t have to a be a big volunteer trip to Africa or a few hours at a senior citizen home to be considered volunteering. You can give back in simple ways too that can be just as meaningful. Play this wonderful vocab game to help donate rice to feed impoverished children at freerice.com while also improving your mind! So for those in a time crunch you no longer have an excuse – take five minutes to do this to give back! It’s that easy!