Volunteering doesn’t have to be a second job

Volunteering doesn't have to take up all of your time

Many volunteer positions require a weekly commitment, maybe a few hours on a Tuesday night or half of your Saturday every week. While carving this time out of your schedule is a noble thing to do, it might not necessarily be a realistic goal for every week. What happens when work picks up and you need to stay late or wedding season rolls around and you;re flying all over the country every other weekend? If you;re interested in volunteering, but don;t have the time for a second job, consider pursuing some of these low-key philanthropic endeavors:

  • Become a seasonal volunteer. Nonprofits and charity organizations are always looking for more volunteers around the holiday season. From running a holiday toy store for parents in need to helping out at the soup kitchen in preparation for Thanksgiving, the one-time volunteer opportunities abound. Refer to local nonprofits; websites to see what;s going on in November and December and find out how you can lend a hand for a single day or night.
  • Check out your local food pantry. Almost every town and city has a food pantry, and they;re usually in need of an extra set of hands. Since you;re offering your time for free, they;ll often be willing to work with you when it comes to a schedule—even if that means you can only stop by once per month. That could still help the staff make a dent in organizing or taking inventory.
  • Act as a cat cuddler. Animal shelters typically have a slew of volunteer opportunities, but there;s probably none quite as laid back as being a cat (or dog) cuddler. Quite simply, these volunteers give the animals some much-needed TLC until they get taken to their forever homes. This is also a great way to get your puppy or kitten fix when you don;t have time to actually adopt one yourself.
  • Use your skills to help a nonprofit. Are you a professional graphic designer? Do you have a knack for spreadsheets and numbers? Have you always been a gifted chef? These are all skills that could come in handy when a local charity is designing their website, figuring out their annual budget, or hosting a fundraising event. Consider your gifts and then find a nonprofit that could use them, but only on an as-needed basis.
  • Join a fundraising team. Fundraisers are a big source of income for most nonprofit organizations. Although they take a lot of planning, the events themselves usually only last for a couple of hours. So consider teaming up with a local nonprofit to volunteer at their next big fundraising event.
  • Bake for a cause. You might be surprised how much a batch of homemade cookies and a smile can mean to veterans at your nearby VFW or senior citizens living at a local assisted living community. The next time you;re baking dessert anyway, just double the batch and gift it to some deserving members of your community. You probably want to call ahead to see what your chosen organization;s policy is on such gifts, though, so that your treats don;t go to waste.


  • September 4th, 2015
  • Posted in: Avalon