Small town volunteering

Volunteering opportunities abound in big cities, but small town residents may not have as many choices. You may need to create your own the way VCI students did in forming their Philanthropy Club. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips:

Contact local schools.Teachers, after school caregivers and coaches can always use helping hands. Prospective volunteers might be able to read to young children, serve as assistant coaches for sports teams or even help maintain playing fields. Small town school budgets tend to be stretched thin, so chances are local educators will welcome citizens looking to pitch in.

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Start a program at your work.Another way for small town residents to give back to their communities is to begin a mentoring or internship program through their places of work. Once their employers give the go ahead, men and women can begin working with local high schools and/or colleges to develop programs that encourage students to gain professional experience that can benefit them later in life.

Start a volunteering group. Small town residents without much access to volunteering programs can organize groups through their offices or neighborhoods. Organize groups willing to pitch in with charities such as Habitat for Humanity or pet rescues. Group leaders can arrange transportation to work sites for members of the group while working as liaisons between their groups and the organizations they choose to work with.

Help at the hospitals.Like schools, many hospitals would struggle if not for the contributions of volunteers. Contact area hospitals to learn about volunteering. Some may need people to read to sick children, while others may need help keeping elderly patients company. Virden has an excellent palliative care group that is often looking for volunteers.

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