Philanthropy is a word that gets thrown around when celebrities or popular figures donate enough money to a charity. However, there is another way to help. Your time is a valuable resource. What is more, your talent and experience as an individual are a bonus to anyone who might benefit from your intentions to follow through with a charitable act.
Preparing to volunteer for a cause can be an exciting way to meet new people while helping others. It is a reminder that there will always be someone ready to support you, especially in times of need. Getting everyone involved in a community-building experience can ensure its resiliency during emergencies. Aside from the bonds created, it is also an opportunity for neighbors to be more familiar with one another and hear about what the other person might be going through.
If you are considering helping out but are not sure how, here are a few suggestions that you may ponder upon:
1. Volunteer for the Advancement of Medicine
There is an urgent need for solutions to medical conditions that seem incurable. At the same time, there are continuous developments for better medicine or treatments, but they have to undergo research and testing. You can be a part of the improvements made in curing people within your community and all over the world when you volunteer for these tests.
Certain tests provide compensation for their subjects. For instance, you can join in a paid clinical trial for atopic dermatitis. People who have eczema can participate and will receive payment for their involvement in the research. Taking part in these sorts of studies is a win-win situation because you will get compensated for your time while providing a service for the greater good.
These tests take a while to complete, so make sure that you are committed to the cause. Remind yourself that someone out there needs this treatment and will benefit greatly from your participation. It is an endeavor that you will be taking part in, one that helps to develop a better treatment or a more effective form of medicine for generations to come.
2. Visit Those in Need and Lend Them Your Ears
Whether it is a refugee, a child with special needs, an orphan, someone sick, or even the elderly, a meaningful conversation has the ability to become a highlight in their day. It is tough to be alone and have no one to talk to in a place that you are uncomfortable in. Taking time out of your day to visit someone can truly brighten their day.
In fact, this is another win-win situation. You could come out with an experience of two lives- yours and the person you visited. There will be an exchange of stories, a bit of banter, and maybe even a newfound sense of belonging. As a volunteer, you will become happier for spending time with others, which is known to lead to success.
Although it may be tough to connect with someone instantly, give it time. Eventually, you will find a person willing and eager to have a conversation with you. If you are awkward around others, this can also be a great way to practice conversing through social interaction. Every bit of contact with others can make you a better person, depending on your approach.
3. Help with Donations
Once all the in-kind donations come in, the tough part really starts. Organizations or volunteering groups need plenty of manpower to transfer, sort through, and pack everything handed to them. Moreover, all items that belong to beneficiaries must be distributed. This means that there will be a logistic issue to address, which can be resolved through volunteers.
In situations where the donations that arrive are overwhelming, such as emergencies caused by natural disasters, every hour volunteered makes a difference. Sorting through heavy boxes of relief will take time and considerable effort, but it needs to be done. This form of civic engagement is the epitome of teamwork in hard times. Other events receive donations that also need time and effort, such as book drives. Whichever situation you take part in, showing up and lending a hand will be a major relief to all volunteers you work with since your presence can lessen their workload.
Before you head out to do some good deeds, make sure you pack a bottle of water, a hat, and a towel. Being self-sufficient when you are helping out others can provide you the focus you need to be as productive as you can. Just prepare yourself for the new friends and experience you will gain along the way.