Living

How to make time for volunteering

Whether you only have a few minutes or a few hours, here's how you can find the time to lend a hand

Once you’ve found the cause that is closest to your heart, you have to then make the time to volunteer. This is the hard part. Finding the time is one of the biggest deterrents to volunteering, but with a little ingenuity everyone can help out.

Evaluate your time

1. What causes are you the most interested in? Find out here.
2. Are you a morning or night person?
3. Are you a multi-tasker?
4. When are you most likely to aimlessly channel surf?
5. What activities do you like to do in your down time?

Volunteering that fits your schedule

First, consider what time of day you have the most time and when you work best generally. For instance, if you’re a morning person why not wake up just a little earlier to help with or start a breakfast program at your nearest school. Or if you’re a night person, try tacking on a few extra minutes or hours in your evening to volunteer.

If you’re a skilled multi-tasker, try using your down time to lend a hand. For example, knit baby hats and mittens for the hospital or adult sized for the homeless while you watch TV (especially helpful during those long commercial breaks). Here is a simple pattern to get you started.

If you find yourself aimlessly channel surfing around the same time for a few hours every night, this is the ideal time to find a volunteer opportunity either inside your home or outside.

Your hobbies are a good indicator of how you like to spend your time, but they can also be put to good use. For instance, if you enjoy bike riding or jogging during your down time sign up for a charitable race and collect pledges. Or if you like to go for walks, sign up to be a dog walker at your local animal shelter.

Check out our volunteering forum to get advice and find out about volunteering opportunities across the country.

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