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Volunteer in the limelight

Make your volunteer experience even more rewarding when you become part of the action for a major sporting or entertainment event. Here are a few ways to get into the game, make a difference and perhaps bump into a few celebrities along the way.

Think early. Apply often.

With big events and great perks comes big competition in the form of applicant pools. So if you’re thinking about volunteering as a marshal for the US Open, for example, you can already apply for 2018. Or put your name in the hat for a volunteer position at the 2018 PGA Finals. Some positions require you to purchase a uniform of sorts, called a Volunteer Package, but in exchange for admission to the event, it may be well worth the cost. The Super Bowl requires up to 10,000 volunteers to help coordinate all of the activities leading up to the game, and while you may not get a chance to see the big event, as a volunteer, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see and interact with some of football’s greats. If tennis is more your game, check this USTA site for upcoming tournament opportunities.

Find the best show in town.

Music festivals are great way to make a difference, get outdoors, and listen to a few of your favorite bands. As a volunteer with HeadCount, you can help this non-partisan organization register voters and raise social consciousness. Find a festival near you and visit their volunteer page to learn more. Or check out your local ballet or theatre company for volunteer opportunities that might come with perks like free admission, discounted tickets and a chance to meet your favorite performers backstage. The Boston Ballet Volunteer Association has volunteer opportunities ranging from a few hours per year, to full time, and supports community awareness, education, special events and stage performances.

Go for the gold.

Team USA needs assistance with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and demand is so high that your application may not even get a response. Volunteers for the actual Games bear the costs related to their stay, but the opportunity is undeniably priceless. You can also find opportunities to help support our athletes at home. Another amateur athletic spectacle, the NCAA Final Four seeks volunteers for both the men’s and women’s championships. Hockey fans can keep their eyes peeled for updates on the Frozen Four tournament, and of course, your local college and university teams and performing arts centers always need a helping hand.

Act natural.

Want to tell your friends and family you work for NOAA? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has volunteer opportunities across the country. Help with weather data, oceanography, aquatic life and more. Or consider yourself a deputy park ranger as a volunteer with the National Park Service. And while volunteering for the Fish and Wildlife Service may not land you on national TV, you still might rub elbows with some of the most influential people in the scientific field.

Looking for something different or a little less high profile? Check out all the opportunities in your area here.

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