The Joy of Volunteering: 5 Easy Steps

Rebecca Baader

The summer months provide a break for students from the more structured schedules of the school year. With more time available, this could be the perfect chance for your family to give back, meet new people, and get connected through volunteering. As with many things in life, sometimes the biggest obstacle to lending a helping hand is simply not knowing how to begin. Here are some tips for getting your family started volunteering and for finding an organization that is a good fit.

1. Have a conversation with your family about what is important in a volunteer opportunity. Is there a certain cause that your family is already passionate about? Do you want to try something new and learn about a nonprofit in the area that you aren’t familiar with?

2. Figure out what will fit into your family’s schedule. Does your family want to make volunteering something that is added into your regular schedule or are you looking for a one-time opportunity? Either way, there are nonprofits that would be grateful to have your help. Deciding on a time commitment could help guide you to what organization is a good fit.

3. The Chippewa Valley has so many awesome nonprofits! Take time to learn more about how they make the community a better place to live for everyone. Create a list of organizations that your family is interested in. You can find a guide to options in the Chippewa Valley online; just chippewavalleyfamily.org, click on “Resources” and then on “Volunteer Opportunities & Charities.”

4. Take the leap and contact an organization to set up a time for your family to help out. When you call, ask questions about the experience that your family will have. What tasks you will be working on? Are there age requirements or certain clothes to wear? Do you need to bring anything with you to volunteer?

5. If you volunteer for an organization and it is not a good fit, that’s OK. Feel comfortable and confident that the time you did commit to an organization was helpful for them and made an impact on the community.