Charles Dickens once wrote, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” The virtue of charity is extolled as the greatest of virtues because giving is an act of unselfishness. When people are unselfish, they feel that they have acted worthily. In these trying times, people who are dismayed at being restricted from moving freely or prevented from going to their work often feel isolated or non-productive.
One way to improve their condition is for people to be charitable. For, as they help others, people’s philanthropic acts give meaning to their lives. Among the avenues for acts of charity, there is that of contributing financially to various organizations. There are also charitable acts of the giving of one’s time and efforts to philanthropic causes.
Here are several plans for volunteering:
Deciding What Kind of Experience One Desires
Some people enjoy working directly with people, while others prefer to stay “behind the scenes,” perhaps producing newsletters for an organization. People also vary in their desire to apply their expertise or to learn new skills. Many choose between global or local issues, as well. Doing what one prefers assures that a volunteer will be happier in performing tasks for the charity.
Choosing What Cause One Wishes to Support
Finding a cause that stirs one’s passions, ideals and values is always best because a person will be motivated to achieve charitable goals. But, the volunteer must guard against putting too much stress upon him/herself.
Deciding Upon Commitment
A realistic decision upon how much energy and time one can devote to a charitable cause is important because an organization will depend upon this commitment. Later on, a person may find that he or she can assume more responsibilities.
Deciding Upon an Organization
While people often begin their volunteer work with local organizations, they may also find national or international organizations that interest them. Resources for volunteering with such organizations can be found by going to volunteer.gov, Serve.gov, and VolunteerMatch.org.
Researching One’s Choices
Assuring that organizations are legitimate and that the largest part of contributions is appropriately designated is an action a person should always take before volunteering. People can access websites and research organizations. There they can obtain the following information:
- The goals and ideals of the organization
- What their volunteer needs are and if they match your interests and skills
- What the requirements for volunteers are (background check, references, etc.)
- What, if any, training is required
- What time requirements are expected
- What, if any, associated or travel fees are required