Being a volunteer is rewarding, but doing good doesn’t have to be an all-day commitment. You can help out from just about everywhere and with any amount of time (even five minutes!). Plus, it’s simple to fit service and acts of kindness into your everyday life—whether from home or at work—and make a lasting impact in the process.
Start at home
A clean house makes for a happy home—and for the perfect opportunity to donate and do good. Think about spring cleaning, which you can do any time of the year, and give away what you no longer use.
Or organize a drive of your own: Donate food from your pantries, use extras from your office for a school supply drive or give your gently used coats to those in need. You can also lighten your library by holding a used book sale or sending read or unwanted books to troops overseas.
You can also help an older friend, family member or neighbor improve the safety of their home. Or when hot or cold weather is approaching, assist with the simple things they can do around the house to save energy.
Multiply the impact
Doing good in a group means more people—and more impact. And involving others in your volunteer efforts can be seamless.
Think about family time. It’s important, and many don’t get enough of it in the bustle of their daily lives. So why not volunteer with your whole family? And don't forget to include the pets! Survey your sidewalks and streets, read with local children or help another family in need. It’ll make your time together meaningful for you and the community.
Activities with colleagues also make for great volunteering experiences. Organize a drive or a service outing after hours. And check in at the office to see if your organization offers matching funds or other assistance. Many do.
Take a break from the grind
Have some time to spare on your lunch hour? Looking take a mid-afternoon breather? Depending on the amount of time you have free, microvolunteering could be a great way to go.
Take five minutes to sign a petition for a cause you believe in or 30 minutes to aid in student research—all without ever leaving your desk Write a "Get Well Soon" card for a child at your local children'ts hospital, or become a pen pal with a soldier on active duty overseas. It doesn't take long to jot down a quick note to make someone feel connected.
The microvolunteering resource Help From Home gives more savvy suggestions for time-based volunteering at the office. And don't miss the recent Forbes article, "Help, I Can't Get Up! Volunteering from Your Desk" for great ideas on how to do good from your work computer - and gain company endorsement for more volunteer activities.
Multitask with exercise
We could all use activity to stay sharp physically and mentally, so why not use the time to do good while feeling good? Plenty of physical activities, outside or otherwise, provide opportunities for helping others. For instance, try your hand at gardening to help out a neighbor or clean up a local river with a nearby school or environmental group.
Like to jog, run or walk? Investigate walking groups and fun runs as other ways to support your community while keeping fit. Community centers, neighborhood gathering places and local running clubs are good places to ask about charity 5Ks or other runs for a good cause.
Once you find an event that fits your exercise and giving interests, invite friends to join in on the fitness fun.
Learn more with Create the Good
Find volunteer opportunities that you can do at home and in just a few minutes, from microvolunteering in your pajamas to going green (and more!). Create the Good connects you with tools, ideas and volunteer opportunities right in your community. Get inspired today!
Have an extra half hour at lunch or in between tasks at home? You can help others without leaving your desk. Volunteer virtually from your computer or phone in areas like language skills or legal advice.
Get started now!
Ready to start giving back? Make a difference right now with these quick, easy—and popular—ways to volunteer:
- Show a neighbor you care by offering to do a household task or chore for them.
- Find the nearest animal shelter and offer to walk the dogs or play with the cats and other animals.
- Share your volunteering experiences with the kids or grandkids to help instill the importance of volunteering in young minds.
- Assemble a friendly visitor kit for a nearby senior center or assisted living facility—especially joyful around the holiday season.
- Pick up trash! Whether you take a garbage bag to a nearby park and do a clean weep or simply pick up litter on your walk to lunch, this is one of the easist things you can do to better your community.
- Read about other top ways to volunteer now.