Prayer for Protection of Young Volunteers
Become a UN Youth Volunteer
UN Youth Volunteers are a separate category of UN Volunteers recently created in response to the United Nations Secretary-General’s call for greater engagement in volunteerism of history’s largest generation of people under 30.
UN Youth Volunteers help the United Nations – one of the world’s most important intergovernmental organizations – to fulfill its mission. These young volunteers are assigned to host United Nations agencies to work on the frontlines of political, developmental and humanitarian field operations.
UN Youth Volunteers are young people aged 18 to 29 years who want to engage in development and peace initiatives worldwide.
What do UN Youth Volunteers do?
As a UN Youth Volunteer, you will help advance peace and sustainable development either in your own country or in another country around the globe. You will help people to lead healthier and safer lives and communities to be able to better address present and future challenges.
UN Youth Volunteer positions are wide ranging; you may work in human rights, climate change adaptation, primary health care, disaster management, peacebuilding, youth engagement or many other areas. You may work directly in a United Nations agency or be assigned to one of its partner organizations, a university or the government.
In return, you will be rewarded with an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Your engagement as a UN Youth Volunteer will be an opportunity to change the world for the better while simultaneously honing your own skills, gaining knowledge and a better understanding of the realities of international development and peacebuilding.
How long is the assignment?
Because UN Youth Volunteers are sponsored by United Nations agencies, their partners, governments or academic institutions, the length of assignment depends on the requesting entity’s needs.
Most UN Youth Volunteer assignments are between six and 24 months.
On occasion, national and international UN Youth Volunteer assignments are less than six months and then are referred to as ‘short-term’ assignments.
When UN Youth Volunteers are sponsored by an academic institution, they are called UN Youth University Volunteers. UN Youth University Volunteers undertake shorter duration assignments – generally between three and six months.Tell me a bit more…
UN Youth Volunteers receive a basic living allowance that allows the volunteer to live healthily and safely in the assigned area. If you volunteer outside of your home area, return airfare or land transport (as applicable) and some other basic costs are paid by the host agency. You will receive orientation and training before and after your assignment.
Who qualifies as a UN Youth Volunteer?
The UN Youth Volunteer programme is looking for motivated and talented youth between the ages of 18 and 29. (Note: you must be younger than 29 throughout the duration of your service). The educational background and experience required varies by assignment, but generally work experience over two years is not expected.
Am I the right fit?
Because the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has built a reputation for recruiting and fielding the highest caliber volunteers that the world has to offer, no less is expected of UN Youth Volunteers. Here is a checklist to see if the UN Youth Volunteer programme is right for you:
- Am I committed to global peace and development?
- Am I motivated and enthusiastic?
- Can I adapt readily to new cultures and situations?
- Will I dedicate between six and twenty-four months to the volunteer assignment?
- Asset: Am I interested in or have I done any volunteering or community work in my country or elsewhere?
I’m in! How do I apply?
All UN Youth Volunteer assignments to volunteer abroad are advertised in our website (under Special Calls for Volunteers). We also advertise assignments to volunteer in your country.
We also advertise vacancies for youth via , and LinkedIn. As these assignments go fast, we encourage you to check the sources above on a regular basis.
Details on qualifications and how to apply are included in the advertisement for each assignment.
Note: There is no general registration for UN Youth Volunteer assignments. You can only apply via advertisements for individual assignments.
If you are 25 years of age or older and have several years of work experience in a specific area of expertise, you may want to register for the UNV Global Talent Pool.
You may also be interested in volunteering online with our UNV Online Volunteering service.
17 excellent reasons to volunteer in 2019 | GVI UK
2019 is here at last! Is volunteering on your New Year resolutions list? If not, here are 17 reasons to volunteer in 2019.
1) It’s good for your health
No, we aren’t making this up.
Studies have found that when you stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels start to decrease, your immune system is strengthened and your overall sense of life satisfaction increases.
This is because helping someone else interrupts tension-producing patterns and replaces it with a sense of purpose, positive emotions and high confidence levels. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this infographic from UnitedHealth Group.
2) Hello career booster
Did you know volunteering is an excellent way to boost your career prospects? It helps you create a positive impression, makes you more innovative, creative and gives you a range of useful skills. It’s not just us that believe this, recruiters do too!
In Adweek’s article on the state of recruitment in 2015, they found that recruiters rank volunteer participation higher than personal presentation, political affiliations and spelling and grammar errors when looking at a candidate’s social presence. The British Council also released a study centred entirely around how international experience benefits individuals and employers.
3) Learn new skills
So just what are the reasons that makes employers love volunteers so much?Employers love a candidate with a range of soft skills and luckily, volunteering gives you plenty of those.
You are faced with problems on a daily basis, you have to deal with a mix of personalities and all while adjusting to life outside of your comfort zone. This all adds up and helps to improve your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and people skills.
All in all, another excellent reason to get out there and volunteer!
4) A real-world experience
Another amazing motivator for volunteering abroad is the insightful, real-world experiences that volunteers gain in the field.
Get ready to gain a hands-on experience, get stuck in doing wildlife conservation research, painting and renovating old buildings, conducting underwater surveys, tracking jaguars, cleaning baby turtles, increasing teaching capacity, or earning your PADI Open Water qualification in some of the world’s most pristine waters.
5) Make an impact
Volunteering, at home or abroad, gives you the chance to vote every day about the kind of community and world you want to live in. It gives you the opportunity to be apart of something bigger than yourself and use your civic responsibility to empower people all across the globe.
6) United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, the United Nations (UN) announced it’s agenda for sustainable development in the next 15 years. With over 17 goals in total, most can be advanced through sustainable and responsible volunteering programs. Instead of relying on your government to fix these issues by 2030, we can all contribute in our own way.
This reason to volunteer gives you an outlet to tackle the world’s problems with your own hands and play an active part in the global community.
7) Give back to a cause you believe in
Not sure where to start in your volunteering journey?
Your reason for volunteering should begin where your passions lie. Let your love for animals, teaching or healthcare create positive change in the world.
Allow your actions to be led from a place of passionate intention. That way all the hard work will be worth it, you will be more committed to the cause and as a result, your impact will be that much bigger.
8) Help to empower another
A local leader conducts a menstrual health education workshop in Laos as part of the women’s empowerment program.
What better reason is there to volunteer abroad?
Your participation in a sustainable, long-term program will help to empower people. By contributing to teaching capacity at over-burdened schools, or helping someone to reach their goals in learning English, you will help to empower them to break cycles of poverty, and access improved job opportunities.
9) Travel responsibly
Volunteering abroad allows you to travel with a purpose. It allows you to reduce your ecological footprint by giving back to activities that are ethical and sustainable.
Before deciding on a programme, ask yourself the following questions:
• How will it benefit the local community?• Does the organisation respect the local culture?• What is the reason behind your volunteering trip?
• What problem will the end product help solve?
Volunteering is an opportunity to change lives, including your own. If you're feeling frustrated or overwhelmed by the news of a disaster, volunteering to help can be a great way to cope. If you'd to support a cause but can't afford to donate money, you can donate your time instead.
Helping others in need is such an important part of the American way of life that many high schools require their students to spend a certain number of hours volunteering in order to graduate.
So how do you go about it?
Find What's Right for You
Un school, with volunteering you get to pick what really interests you and who (or what) is most deserving of your time. Need some ideas to get you started? Here are just a few:
Help kids learn and grow. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister, camp counselor, or volunteer for an after-school sports program. Special Olympics games and events are great ways to get to know special-needs kids.
Give back over the holidays. Serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless, volunteer at your local food bank, or distribute toys to kids. Your church, temple, mosque, or other place of worship also may be able to use your help.
Play with pets at a local animal shelter. Most shelters depend on volunteers to keep the cats and dogs happy and well exercised. (And when you're walking rescued dogs, you get a workout too.)
Volunteer for a political campaign. If you're interested in politics, it's a great way to find out how things work on the inside. Even if you can't vote, you can still work to get your candidate elected — whether it's the president of the United States or your town mayor.
Help the environment. Join a conservation group and help out with river preservation. Take part in a local park cleanup day. You don't have to be an outdoorsy type — if you can't picture yourself hauling trees up a hill, you could help out in a park office or education center.
Support a health-related cause. Lots of us are close to people who have a medical problem ( cancer, HIV, or diabetes, for example). It can feel good to donate your time to an organization that raises money for research, delivers meals, or offers other help to people with an illness.
If you have more than one thing you love, find a way to combine the two. For example, if you love kids and are great at arts and crafts, visit your local children's hospital and offer to lead art activities for young patients.
Find What Fits Your Schedule
Once you've found something that inspires you, decide how much time you want to spend. Local organizations ( hospitals or shelters) often volunteers to give them a set amount of time every week or two.
But what if school, sports, or other commitments prevent you from devoting time every week? Many large organizations (especially those related to the environment or finding cures for diseases) have day-long activities. These include walkathons, bike rides, cleanup days, or building homes for those in need.
You can also spend a week, month, or even a whole summer volunteering through a structured internship or “alternative spring break” program.The advantage of these is you get to immerse yourself in the activities and feel a real sense of achievement when you see the results.
Because you spend a lot of time together, most people who work on long-term volunteer projects form close friendships. Sometimes you get to travel, and the organization may pay your travel and living costs.
Expand Your Mind
Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills — from working as part of a team to setting and reaching goals. It gives you a chance to discover what kinds of things you're best at and enjoy the most. A volunteer job that you love can even help shape your ideas about your career goals.
Volunteering also can give you a sense of responsibility because people really depend on you. And it can help you develop a new understanding of people who are different from you — people with disabilities, people in financial distress, sick kids, or the elderly.
Donating your time is a great way to feel you have the power to change things for the better. When people depend on you, it can change the way you look at yourself. You can feel proud of the goals that you've achieved for an organization — whether it's helping to organize a 10K to raise money for breast cancer or running the race itself.
Volunteering is also a great way to get a perspective on your own life. Sometimes it's easy to get consumed by worries about your grades or the fight you had with your friend or parent.
And although these things are very important in their own way, sometimes it can be helpful to get some distance and think about other things. Volunteering allows you to do this.
It lets you focus on others and see that your involvement in the world can be meaningful.
Finally, volunteering can help save you from being bored — it gives you a place to be where you can have a good time and keep busy.
When you donate your time to a cause you care about, it looks impressive on college or job applications. That's not the main reason for volunteering, of course — if you do it just to please other people or to look good you may not enjoy it. But volunteering does show others (and yourself!) that you are reliable enough to make a commitment and show up on schedule.
Volunteering also shows employers and colleges that you believe in making the world a better place — and that you're willing to sacrifice your time and energy to do it.
Where Do I Sign Up?
After you've decided what you're interested in and how much time you can devote, it's time to find out where you can volunteer.
You have several choices. You can search the Internet or look in your local phone book under “volunteer.” You can call an organization directly and ask if they need volunteers in your area.
You can ask friends or relatives for ideas and contacts or look on bulletin boards in your library or in bookstores.It's worth spending the time up front to identify a job that's a good fit for you.
When you're calling an organization to offer your time, it's best to ask for a volunteer coordinator. Be ready to answer some questions, :
- Why do you want to volunteer for our organization?
- What do you know about our organization?
- How many hours a week will you be able to volunteer?
- What are your interests?
- Do you have any special skills?
- Do you have a way to get here?
Most places will ask you to come for an interview, which is usually pretty casual. They want to talk to you face to face and if they haven't yet asked the questions above, they will do it at the interview.
Whether your interview is on the phone or in person, don't forget to ask questions of your own. For example:
- What will be expected of me if I volunteer here?
- What kind of training will I receive?
- How many other volunteers are there?
- How many hours do you expect me to volunteer each week/month?
You might even want to ask if you can observe some other volunteers in action to get a feel for the work before you commit.
If it's a good fit — meaning you the organization, they you, and you the work — volunteering can be an incredible experience.
Prayers for Holy Communion
Canon for preparation for Holy Communion (pdf) To be said the evening before you plan to partake of Holy Communion.
Prayers to be said on the morning you plan to partake of Holy Communion (pdf)
Prayer of St.
Lord, Jesus Christ my God, forgive the faults and sins which I, Your unworthy servant have committed from my youth to this day and hour, whether knowingly or in ignorance, whether by words, deeds, intentions or thoughts and whether by habit or through any of my senses. By the prayers of Your pure and Virgin Mother, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Your precious, immortal and life-giving Mysteries for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. May the Eucharist sanctify, enlighten, strengthen and heal my soul and body and thus destroy my evil thoughts, intentions and prejudices. For Yours, Christ our God, is the Kingdom, the power, the glory, the honor and worship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of St.
John of Damascus
Master and Lord, Jesus Christ our God, You alone have authority to forgive my sins, whether committed knowingly or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation Your divine, glorious, pure and life-giving Mysteries, not for my punishment, but for my purification and sanctification, now and in Your future Kingdom. For You, Christ our God are compassionate and love mankind and to You we give glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever and ever. Amen.
Prayers Right Before Communion
I believe and confess, Lord, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I also believe that this is truly Your pure Body and that this is truly Your precious Blood.
Therefore, I pray to You, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown.
And make me worthy without condemnation to partake of Your pure Mysteries for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life. Amen
How shall I, who am unworthy, enter into the splendor of Your saints? If I dare to enter into the bridal chamber, my clothing will accuse me, since it is not a wedding garment; and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In Your love, Lord, cleanse my soul and save me.
Loving Master, Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not these holy Gifts be to my condemnation because of my unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body and the pledge of the future life and kingdom.
It is good for me to cling to God and to place in Him the hope of my salvation.
Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas.
But as the thief I confess to You: Lord, remember me in Your Kingdom.
Prayers After Receiving Communion
I thank Thee, O Lord my God, that Thou hast not rejected me, a sinner, but hast granted me to be a communicant of Thy holy Things. I thank Thee that Thou hast granted me, unworthy as I am, to partake of Thy pure and heavenly Gifts.
But, O Lord, Lover of men, Who didst die for us and rise again and bestow upon us these Thy dread and life-giving Mysteries for the well being and sanctification of our souls and bodies, grant that these may be even to me for the healing of my soul and body, for the averting of everything hostile, for the enlightenment of the eyes of my heart, for the peace of the powers of my soul, for unashamed faith, for sincere love, for the fullness of wisdom, for the keeping of Thy commandments, for an increase of Thy divine grace, and for familiarity with Thy Kingdom; that being kept by Them in Thy holiness I may ever remember Thy grace, and never live for myself but for Thee our Lord and Benefactor. And so when I have passed from existence here in the hope of eternal life, may I attain to everlasting rest, where the song is unceasing of those who keep festival and the joy is boundless of those who behold the ineffable beauty of Thy face. For Thou art the true desire and the unutterable gladness of those who love Thee, O Christ our God, and all creation sings of Thee throughout the ages.
Prayer of St.
Basil the Great
Lord Christ our God, King of the ages and Creator of all, I thank Thee for all the blessings Thou hast granted me and for the communion of Thy pure and life-giving Mysteries. I pray Thee, therefore, good Lord and Lover of men, guard me under Thy protection and within the shadow of Thy wings; and grant me with a clear conscience till my last breath worthily to partake of Thy holy Things for forgiveness of sins and for life eternal.
For Thou art the Bread of Life, the Source of Holiness, the Giver of all that is good, and to Thee we send up the glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer of St.Symeon the Translator O Thou Who givest me willingly Thy Flesh for food, Thou Who art fire, and burnest the unworthy, Scorch me not, O my Maker, But rather pass through me for the integration of my members, Into all my joints, my affections, and my heart. Burn up the thorns of all my sins. Purify my soul, sanctify my mind; Strengthen my knees and bones; Enlighten the simplicity of my five senses. Nail down the whole of me with Thy fear. Ever protect, guard, and keep me From every soul-destroying word and act. Sanctify, purify, attune, and rule me.
Adorn me, give me understanding, and enlighten me. Make me the habitation of Thy Spirit alone, And no longer a habitation of sin, That as Thy house from the entry of communion Every evil spirit and passion may flee from me fire.
I offer Thee as intercessors all the sanctified, The Commanders of the Bodiless Hosts, Thy Forerunner, the wise Apostles, And Thy pure and immaculate Mother. Receive their prayers, my compassionate Christ. And make Thy slave a child of light.
For Thou alone art our sanctification, O Good One, And the radiance of our souls, And to Thee as our Lord and God as is right
We all give glory day and night.
May Thy Holy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, be to me for eternal life, and Thy Precious Blood for forgiveness of sins.
And may this Eucharist be to me for joy, health, and gladness.
And in Thy awful second coming, make me, a sinner, worthy to stand on the right hand of Thy glory, through the intercessions of Thy holy and most pure Mother and of all Thy Saints. Amen.
To the Most Holy Mother of God
All-holy Lady, Mother of God, the light of my darkened soul, my hope and protection, my refuge and consolation, and my joy, I thank thee that thou hast made me, who am unworthy, worthy to be a communicant of the immaculate Body and precious Blood of thy Son.
But do thou who didst bear the true Light enlighten the spiritual eyes of my heart. O thou who didst conceive the Source of Immortality, give life to me who am dead in sin.
O thou who art the compassionately loving Mother of the merciful God, have mercy on me and give me compunction and contrition of heart, humility in my thoughts, and the recall of my reasoning powers from their captivity.
And grant me till my last breath to receive without condemnation the sanctification of the Holy Mysteries for the healing of soul and body. And give me tears of repentance and confession, and of thanksgiving, that I may praise and glorify thee all the days of my life. For thou art blessed and glorified for ever. Amen.
Then the Song of Symeon is said:
Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Lord, according to Thy word. For my eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all peoples, the light of revelation for the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.
Please pray for the Lord's hand, favor and anointing continually be on my life, that I may live my life completely for His glory. That He would grow my faith daily and my hunger for His presence, His Word and to be the vessel He has called me to be for His purpose.
Received: June 17, 2019
Many of you have been praying for me and my family after the sudden tragic death of my dad. My mom has been battling cancer 8 years prior and had finally been in remission. She and and I are lost empty broken ships. While I can turn to the Lord she is too weak and in despair. Only Jesus can fix this! Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Prayed for 1 time
For my sister-in-law. She is pregnant with her 6th child and has cardiomyopathy, or heart failure, so her heart is presently functioning at 30% and she's only 13 weeks pregnant. She is 33 years young. During the pregnancy of her 5th child was when they discovered that she had cardiomyopathy, and it is largely genetically inherited.
Unfortunately she had an inadequate cardiologist in Georgia, which she discovered after a move with her husband and 5 children to Arizona about 6 months ago, and they could have been doing much more to help her recover function post the birth of her 5th child.
After the birth of her 5th child, they knew that any further pregnancies would be extremely high risk and tried to avoid conceiving again. They discovered due to some circumstances that they are pregnant recently, and though she now has a good cardiologist in Arizona, the outlook is extremely high risk.The doctors have repeatedly told her to abort, because her life is at risk and she has 5 children. She is relying on God for his miracle to keep her and the baby safe throughout pregnancy and delivery and feels that her child deserves life. The first step is to make it 22-24 weeks, at which she will be hospitalized, going to Mayo Clinic or there soon after.
It is possible she will need a heart transplant at any time, and that the baby will be born prematurely. Right now, we are all sitting and waiting in limbo. Currently she is doing alright considering the circumstances, so we just have to sit and pray and wait.
All of the family is in Georgia and they moved relatively recently to Arizona, so my mother-in-law and her are figuring out how to take care of her youngest children while she is hospitalized. I'd to ask for prayer over her and the baby. That no matter the doctors telling her that she will not survive, that relying on God will change this. This is in God's hands.
Prayed for 2 times
Pray for God to bless my husband and I with a healthy pregnancy and that the chains of infertility will be broken.
Prayed for 3 times
I need extra prayers. I recently returned to a job that used to be perfect for me. I have returned ro a workplace I no longer recognize. My co-workers are mean and hostile towards me.
I pray for harmony in my workplace. And understanding of why Im being treated so hatefully.
Prayed for 5 times
I need continued prayer for addiction. I also need prayer for my husbands health. I know God works miracles.
Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits – HelpGuide.org
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community.
The right match can help you reduce stress, find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health.
Learn more about the many benefits of helping others and find tips on getting started.
Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer.
Volunteering and helping others can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.
While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.
- Volunteering connects you to others
- Volunteering is good for your mind and body
- Volunteering can advance your career
- Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Benefit 1: Volunteering connects you to others
One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place.
Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help.
Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.
Make new friends and contacts
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area.
It strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.
Benefit 2: Volunteering is good for your mind and body
Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.
Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety.
The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being.
Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Volunteering combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against depression.
Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more ly you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not.
Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less ly to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills.
Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.
I have limited mobility—can I still volunteer?
People with disabilities or chronic health conditions can still benefit greatly from volunteering. In fact, research has shown that adults with disabilities or health conditions ranging from hearing and vision loss to heart disease, diabetes or digestive disorders all show improvement after volunteering.
Whether due to a disability, a lack of transportation, or time constraints, many people choose to volunteer their time via phone or computer. In today’s digital age, many organizations need help with writing, graphic design, email, and other web-based tasks.
Some organizations may require you to attend an initial training session or periodical meetings while others can be conducted completely remotely.
In any volunteer situation, make sure that you are getting enough social contact, and that the organization is available to support you should you have questions.
Benefit 3: Volunteering can advance your career
If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field.
Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization.
You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.
Teaching you valuable job skills
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. For example, you could become an experienced crisis counselor while volunteering for a women’s shelter or a knowledgeable art historian while donating your time as a museum docent.
Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you can raise awareness for your favorite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.
Gaining career experience
Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in nursing, you could volunteer at a hospital or a nursing home.
Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could benefit your career.
Benefit 4: Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.
Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. For instance, if you have a desk job and long to spend time outdoors, you might consider volunteering to help plant a community garden, walk dogs for an animal shelter, or help out at a children’s camp.
Consider your goals and interests
You will have a richer and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you first take some time to identify your goals and interests. Think about why you want to volunteer. What would you enjoy doing? The opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are most ly to be fun and fulfilling.
How to find the right volunteer opportunity
There are numerous volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that your commitment matches the organization’s needs. Ask yourself the following:
- Would you to work with adults, children, animals, or remotely from home?
- Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
- Are you better behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?
- How much time are you willing to commit?
- What skills can you bring to a volunteer job?
- What causes are important to you?
Consider several volunteer possibilities
Don’t limit yourself to just one organization or one specific type of job. Sometimes an opportunity looks great on paper, but the reality is quite different. Try to visit different organizations and get a feel for what they are and if you click with other staff and volunteers.
Where to find volunteer opportunities
- Community theaters, museums, and monuments
- Libraries or senior centers
- Service organizations such as Lions Clubs or Rotary Clubs
- Local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or wildlife centers
- Youth organizations, sports teams, and after-school programs
- Historical restorations, national parks, and conservation organizations
- Places of worship such as churches or synagogues
- Online databases such as those contained in the Resources section below
How much time should you volunteer?
Volunteering doesn’t have to take over your life to be beneficial.
In fact, research shows that just two to three hours per week, or about 100 hours a year, can confer the most benefits—to both you and your chosen cause.
The important thing is to volunteer only the amount of time that feels comfortable to you. Volunteering should feel a fun and rewarding hobby, not another chore on your to-do list.
Getting the most volunteering
You’re donating your valuable time, so it’s important that you enjoy and benefit from your volunteering. To make sure that your volunteer position is a good fit:
Ask questions. You want to make sure that the experience is right for your skills, your goals, and the time you want to spend. Sample questions for your volunteer coordinator might address your time commitment, if there’s any training involved, who you will be working with, and what to do if you have questions during your experience.
Make sure you know what’s expected. You should be comfortable with the organization and understand the time commitment. Consider starting small so that you don’t over commit yourself at first. Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if needed.
Don’t be afraid to make a change. Don’t force yourself into a bad fit or feel compelled to stick with a volunteer role you dis. Talk to the organization about changing your focus or look for a different organization that’s a better fit.
If volunteering overseas, choose carefully. Some volunteer programs abroad can cause more harm than good if they take much-needed paying jobs away from local workers. Look for volunteer opportunities with reputable organizations.
Enjoy yourself. The best volunteer experiences benefit both the volunteer and the organization. If you’re not enjoying yourself, ask yourself why. Is it the tasks you’re performing? The people you’re working with? Or are you uncomfortable simply because the situation is new and unfamiliar? Pinpointing what’s bothering you can help you decide how to proceed.