Few can deny the benefits of helping others. It gives you that warm special feeling that lets your heart grow 3 sizes every year. There is nothing like helping someone and seeing the smile and hearing the “thank you” that comes when you have made a difference in someone’s life. One cannot explain the satisfied feeling you get when you hand a child a toy that he/she wanted and how their faces light up like a Christmas tree. And if that’s not enough to get you to your nearest soup kitchen and roll up your sleeves, here’s another reason. Do you know how good volunteer work looks on your resume? Not only will volunteering catch the interest of your employer, it will also give you experience that you don’t have to pay for — does not cost you a cent! You can build your portfolio and do something for someone else! It’s the season of giving and sharing and there are a lot of opportunities to get out and give back to the community. Although if you’re industrious and don’t feel like waiting on a particular time of year to get involved, we have some tips on how to find the right place and ways for you to get out and help out!

Homeless Shelters.
These are everywhere and they always need help. You can help at meal times directly at the shelter. They might need help in the office area.

A lot of paper work comes with running this type of organization and most of the staff are volunteers —  just like you. They are getting paid little or no money for their free time and they would welcome the help.

Food Collection.
This is one of the easiest ways to help. You virtually don’t have to do anything, but put a box in a place where you know people will put canned goods. All you need is a place to collect the food, something to put the food in, and a place to drop it off. There are food banks in most cities that would love to have the help and are practically operated through the donations of others. Not really feeling donating to homeless shelters? Pet shelters need the same help. Feeding all of those animals is a job-and-a-half. They are spending so much money trying to keep up with and pay for the bills that any food contribution you could make would be very welcome. Just call your local humane or animal shelters and find out what the requirements are and you’re off and running!

Spare Time Volunteering.
Some of us are super busy. We may not have the hour to devote to whatever charity is knocking on our door. But most hobbies have a charity that will accept your donations. Do you crochet? Maybe there is a child program that needs blankets. Wood working is your choice? Great!  You can enter your item in a charity auction. Not only does this allow you to take time for yourself, but you can donate your project to a worthy cause! And if you’re going into business for yourself, it’s a free way to get your name out there. It is a win-win situation for everyone!

Working with Children and the Elderly.
Not only does this show you’re a team player, you can have a lot of fun! Children’s hospitals need assistance from people to help them run story hours. You can be a candy striper and get your foot in the door at a medical facility. Go to old age facilities and visit with the patients. You’ll get to hear stories of their lives. Learn some new things. Did you know anything about cars? They might. Also, you don’t know who someone knows. And that little old lady you’re feeding apple sauce to may have a son who is a manager at that very office where you were hoping to get an internship. It can happen.

Public Organizations.
Libraries, political campaigns, hospitals, and environmental groups all need volunteers. You think these places run themselves? Each of these places offers the chance for you to make contacts in all types of industries. It gives you the chance to not only help others, but it will give you the chance to network. You never know where your first or new job is coming from and this may be your chance to find one!

Call Centers.
If you have ever watched television and seen someone call a suicide hotline, then you know how desperate these places are to get help. These places need people to answer calls and help people find their way through whatever problem they are having.

Good with advice and easy to talk to? This might be your thing. You are making a difference in the life of someone that needs help immediately. This gives you experience in answering telephones and other office work as they are always looking for help in all areas.

Click Page Charities.
This one is the easiest one to do. All you need is an internet connection and computer. If you’re surfing the net often, just pull up a site of click charities. These are sites that get money when you click on their link. Just Google Charity Click sites and it will pull up literally hundreds of sites that you don’t have to do anything, except click on them for them to get help. By driving traffic to those sites, you are helping them pay for their administrative fees and donating to whatever charity you’re supporting. Pretty sweet deal for just a few seconds of your time!

Hope this helps! If you want more ways to help, head to your local library or google your town and charities. There are literally hundreds of ways to find projects to help and get your name out there. Everyone’s life is like a piece of paper. Don’t you want the make you make to be a good one?