Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer. You do not need specialized training unless your volunteer opportunity requires specific skills. Some volunteering opportunities offer training and support, depending on what you will be doing. If you need formal training your Center does not provide, the Center will supply you with the information on other local organizations that do.

Why Volunteer?

Through volunteer service, people can strengthen and improve the quality of life within their communities, and help themselves and others to live happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Individual volunteering is beneficial because it helps build self-esteem, passes on social values and instills the responsibility of volunteering as a personal commitment by giving back to the community through service.

What Can I Do?

  1. One-time Events for those with limited time;
  2. Ongoing Programs such as tutoring or mentoring;
  3. Full-time Service such as Teach For America or programs through AmeriCorps;
  4. Volunteer Networks such as Points of Light or United Way agencies;
  5. International service opportunities such as Peace Corps;
  6. Volunteer opportunities you can do from your home or computer.

What Can I Do?

  1. Research the causes or issues important to you. Look for a group that works with issues about which you feel strongly. You might already be giving money to one of these organizations, and that might be a good place to begin your volunteer experience.

  2. Consider the skills you have to offer. If you enjoy outdoor work, have a knack for teaching, or just enjoy interacting with people, you may want to look for volunteer work that would incorporate these aspects of your personality.

  3. Would you like to learn something new? Perhaps you would like to learn a new skill or gain exposure to a new situation. Consider seeking a volunteer opportunity where you'll learn something new.

  4. Combine your goals. Look for volunteer opportunities that will also help you achieve your other goals for your life.

  5. Don't over-commit your schedule. Make sure the volunteer hours you want to give fit into your hectic life, so that you don't frustrate your family, exhaust yourself, short change the organization you're trying to help or neglect your job.

  6. Nonprofits may have questions, too. While most nonprofits are eager to find volunteer help, they have to be careful when accepting the services you offer.

  7. Consider volunteering as a family. Think about looking for a volunteer opportunity suitable for parents and children to do together, or for a husband and wife to take on as a team.

  8. Virtual volunteering? Yes, there is such a thing! If you have computer access and the necessary skills, some organizations now offer the opportunity to do volunteer work over the computer.

  9. I never thought of that! Many community groups are looking for volunteers, and some may not have occurred to you. Most of us know that hospitals, libraries, and churches use volunteers for a great deal of their work, but here are some volunteer opportunities that may not have crossed your mind:

    • Day care centers, Neighborhood Watch, Public Schools and Colleges

    • Halfway houses, Community Theaters, Drug Rehabilitation Centers, Fraternal Organizations and Civic Clubs

    • Retirement Centers and Homes for the Elderly, Meals on Wheels, Church or Community-Sponsored Soup Kitchens or Food Pantries

    • Museums, Art Galleries, and Monuments

    • Community Choirs, Bands and Orchestras

    • Prisons, Neighborhood Parks, Youth Organizations, Sports Teams, and After-school Programs, Shelters for Battered Women and Children

    • Historical Restorations, Battlefields and National Parks

  10. Give voice to your heart through your giving and volunteering! Bring your heart and your sense of humor to your volunteer service, along with your enthusiastic spirit, which in itself is a priceless gift. What you'll get back will be immeasurable!