10 Ways You Can Help Others That Will Help You Too


Helping others when it is needed is a great way to give back as well as give to you. There's still something about the human spirit that drives many people to volunteer when other people need help. Here are 10 ways you can get out and help:

1. Volunteer as a reader to children at your local library. In the Los Angeles, as an example, they have people who do readings to young children. I did volunteer reading as part of a non-profit organization known as Reading to Kids.
2. Help out at an annual "Make a Difference Day" event. Every year across the United States, Make a Difference Day challenges communities to help out. Whether cleaning up a community or to raise money for an orphanage, you have the ability to make a difference.
3. Visit a nursing home or brighten the day of a hospice patient. I've done this and entertained the patients there with my puppets. I can tell you that they really enjoy it.
4. Take a CERT training class through your local fire department and volunteer to help out as part of a call-out team. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and was organized in the event of a major disaster. It's about communities being able to help themselves. I completed my CERT training through the Los Angeles Fire Department.
5. Be a mentor to a child. There are a lot of different mentor opportunities that you can do. If you're good with a computer, you can teach a low-income child how to use one. You might also want to help them with their homework.
6. Be a foster parent. Many children need good parents in times of crisis. Use your skills that you developed to help them on a temporary basis. If you are good with animals, then you might want to be a foster parent for a homeless cat or dog.
7. Feed the homeless. There are more and more people living on the street each year. Many of these are families. You have the chance to help feed some of these in your own community. Some churches help sponsor events - especially during the holidays.
8. Teach a class. Many years ago I taught my first volunteer class to middle school students as part of the DARE+ program. It's well worth it to provide your knowledge and experience and pass it on to children in your area.
9. Deliver a meal. There are many seniors who are unable to cook for themselves and many live alone. You can take a little time to deliver a meal to those that need it. Many times it's the only food they'll get all day.
10. Be a docent at a local museum. If you have some specialized knowledge that pertains to your local museum or even some insight, volunteering as a docent is rewarding to you and to those that visit.

Volunteering will help you to live longer, live happier, and make a difference in the lives of others. There are many more volunteer activities that you can do than is listed here. Go to VolunteerMatch.org for more information on how you can volunteer in your own area.



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