August 22, 2018
Don’t have a Do Good Date Night event near you? Well, no need to let that stop you from doing good on your date night. Use this resource to find and create your town date night volunteering opportunities and experiences.
Depending on where you live, there are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteer opportunities available to you. Thankfully, there several websites which have curated these opportunities and have made it easier for people like you and me to find the needle in the haystack.
At the time of writing, VolunteerMatch is working with over 100,000 different nonprofits across the country to help connect them with citizens ready to pitch in. It’s mission: We make it easy for good people and good causes to connect. And it is easy. Simply type in your location on the home page and start sorting through the list of opportunities that the internal search engine compiles. You can also narrow the search by cause and other filters, such as volunteer opportunities that are kid-friendly or appropriate for people aged 55+. This is a great site to get you started.
Corporation for National & Community Service
While this site isn’t quite as robust as VolunteerMatch in terms of the number of opportunities listed, it is a great resource for service work, including opportunities specifically related to things like 9/11 and MLK Days of Service. Calling itself a “catalyst for community solutions and champion for the ideal that every American has skills and talents to give,” this organization can also help you with resources for starting your own service project.
Idealist’s mission is to connect millions of idealists – people who want to do good – “with opportunities for action and collaboration all over the world.” You can filter volunteer opportunities by geographical area, cause and organization type (such as nonprofit, government and social enterprise, for example). Once you click on a listing, it clearly lists the time commitment (i.e. a few hours a week) and duration (i.e. long-term, short-term, one day). One feature I love is that you can sign up for an email so you can receive new listings that match this search.
A segment of Points of Light, a worldwide organization dedicated to volunteer service and mobilizing “millions of people to take action and change the world,” the HandsOn Network has chapters in more than 250 cities across 37 countries to help you bring your time and talent to a cause seamlessly. The site allows you to find your local HandsOn Action Center or sort through volunteer opportunities available in your area. Just this one organization facilitates over 20 million volunteer hours around the world each year, plus its affiliate organizations— generationOn (aimed at engaging kids and teens in service and volunteering), AmeriCorps and The Points of Light Corporate Institute enables even more.
This gargantuan global organization has a lot of directives, including funding nonprofits, affecting public policy and mobilizing volunteers and donors. Beyond being a resource for over 2 million volunteers, United Way hosts its United Way Day of Action each year in the month of June, rallying thousands of volunteers to participate in fun, one-day service projects across Canada and the US.
To get started down the path of United Way’s volunteer opportunities get in touch with your local office (unitedway.org/find-your-united-way/) or visit uwvolunteers.org today to see where you could be needed. In addition, look into when your local United Way may be hosting a United Way Day of Caring, which offers one-day opportunities to participate in local service projects.
Create the Good
Founded by AARP, Create the Good aims to connect Boomers and older Americans with volunteer options in their local community. The site allows you to search through volunteer opportunities but it also offers guides for do-it-yourself projects, such a cleaning up a river, organizing a food drive or hosting a used book sale. Create the Good has compiled dozens of these DIY guides, each with step-by-step tips for getting started.
All Hands Volunteers
Dedicated to “rebuilding hope for people impacted by natural disasters all over the world,” All Hands Volunteers is a volunteer-powered disaster relief organization missioned to address the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters. Click on “Volunteer” and you’ll see listings of places around the world that need immediate support after hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. If hoping on a plane (an expense often covered by this organization) to travel to a foreign country to volunteer isn’t possible, know that if a natural disaster ever ends up in your neck of the woods (and I hope it doesn’t), you can turn to this site to see how you can join the relief and rebuild efforts.
Other Places to Look