Day 4 of 30 Days/30 Ways ~~~The One-Day Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities Unlimited!

Charities couldn’t accomplish all the great things they do without the amazing help of volunteers.  You don’t have to have a lot of time on your hands to make a valueable contribution to the causes you care about.  Many volunteers “specialize,” choosing one charitable event that they can  come out to year after year. 

Some sign on for spring shifts, manning the barbecue at community fairs or overseeing fun activities at festivals and golf tournatments that benefit nonprofits.  Others prefer summer or winter opportunities, like helping out charitable lemonade stands or gift wraps centers at Christmas where money is raised for worthy causes. 

Ongoing regular volunteer opportunities are definitely available, but even if you can only devote one or two days a year, it is an important endevour.

One day at a time. Offer your services as just one day a year for communal events like International Coastal Cleanup day (coastalcleanup.org) or Family Volunteer Day (disney.go.com/disneyhand/familyvolunteers/).

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!
~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.

A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.



In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.

Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back!

Want to Get into a Disney Park for Free? Then, Volunteer your time!

Disney parks are hoping to inspire 1 million people to volunteer a day of service beginning January 1st 2010, with their Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promotion.

During 2010, one million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization will receive a free one-day admission ticket to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., or Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla.

How do you participate? Easy! Starting Jan. 1, 2010, go to http://www.disneyparks.com/ for the United States and Puerto Rico or http://www.disneyparks.ca/ for Canada to search for volunteer opportunities available in those areas through Points of Light‘s, HandsOn Network and sign up for a day of volunteer service. You must pre-register and sign up for eligible volunteer opportunity. Ticket quantities for this program are limited and you must be at least age 6 to participate.

Have fun!

A Call to Serve

First Lady Obama announced the commencement of United We Serve, the US Government’s nation-wide summer of service initiative that encourages Americans to get involved in community service and to develop “do it yourself” service projects. The website, Serve.gov is an online volunteer resource that enables citizens to search for volunteer and service project opportunities in their localaties.

Watch the video below to hear Mrs. Obama’s message on service and log on to the United We Serve campaign at http://www.serve.gov/ to get involved.

Why Should YOU Volunteer?

Forty years ago, a young dentist from Tucson named Sam Marascalo noticed that low-income families were staying away from the dentist’s chair. He decided to help found a free dental clinic at Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, called St. Elizabeth’s Clinic (or “St. E’s”) where families who might otherwise be unable to afford quality dental care would have an opportunity to be seen by a board-certified dentist. Twenty years after Dr. Marascalo began volunteering his time at the clinic, his daughter married another dentist, named Phil Mooberry. Dr. Mooberry also joined the St. E’s team. The tradition took on a new generational dimension when Dr. Sam’s grandson, also a dentist, began donating his time to the clinic. The dentists at St. E’s see between twelve to fifteen patients a month, in addition to their regular load at their own offices. They provide indigent patients with vital dental procedures—from basic exams and fillings to dentures and crowns. By donating their time (and expertise), these volunteer dentists give back to their community in a way that transcends dollars and cents.

Stories like that of Dr. Marascalo and his son-in-law and grandson remind us that sometimes our time can be the most effective philanthropic tool we have. Charitable organizations are founded and spearheaded by individuals who are committed to and energized by the causes they fight for. Despite this commitment and energy, charitable entities face obstacles, some of them insurmountable. Charitieswant to reach out to every man, woman, and child who cries out for assistance; but sometimes their reach isn’t long enough——either because funds have run out, volunteers are scarce, or social pressures have put a damper on things.

As volunteers, this is when we step in. And an astonishing number of us do just that. More than 200 million people throughout the world volunteer to work on issues such as: promoting peace, helping animals, strengthening communities, protecting children, feeding the hungry, and preventing illnesses and disease. But in a world of six billion, the majority of them in need, even 200 million volunteers can’t do it all by themselves.

Finding time to volunteer is easier than you may think. It needn’t require a substantial and long-term time commitment; in fact, by carving out just few days each year, even a few hours, can create some powerful changes.

Why volunteer?
Ø Personal Enrichment. Have you ever given a special gift to someone for no reason at all? If you haven’t, give it a try. If you have, then you already know the warm feeling you get when you do something, of your own volition, for someone else. That feeling is no different from the feeling you get when you volunteer your time to help the less fortunate. Sure, it’s been said before, that giving back feels good—but do you know why we get that feeling? It’s because these experiences enrich, expand, and personify our principles. They give our lives a purpose that is greater than ourselves, even if it just brightening the day of an elderly neighbor by bringing him a hot dish once in a while.Volunteering creates in the volunteer a tremendous sense of empowerment. In a world where we, as individuals, seem to have so little control over whether good or bad things happen, knowing that you have changed something for the better, even if only a little bit, is extremely powerful.And that change doesn’t always, or even usually, come from money. All the money in the world won’t make a difference if no one is willing to do the work. The most plentiful crop will simply rot if no one harvests the fields. Our donations of time are just as important as the money we donate, because both elements are crucial to getting the work done.

Ø Profesional Enhancement. Along with a personal sense of purpose, volunteering adds dimension to your resume and catalog of lifeexperiences. Volunteer positions provide knowledge, tools, and new skills —great material for a resume or college application. In fact, some organizations won’t even consider your application unless you have done some volunteer work in your chosen field. Volunteer experience provides a unique opportunity to acquire and develop skills that can translate into a diverse career portfolio. In the business world, specialized skills such as problem solving, public speaking, project management, and team leading, are referred to as “power skills.” They are highly sought-after within the business community and often hard for companies to come by in new employees. Yet these reach skills are developed in a great deal of volunteer work! Your Volunteer activities clearly demonstrate to potential employers your ongoing commitment to your career and to the world.

Spiritual Enhancement. Many people choose to volunteer because the religious tradition to which they belong values such work highly. In most of the world’s major religions, charity it a cornerstone of the faith. Beyond duty, however, is the spiritual element of charity and volunteerism. Many people find such activities nourishing to their spirit. Hospice care, for example, can give volunteers a chance to provide comfort to someone at the end of his or her life, as well as strengthen one’s appreciation for life itself. Others find helping abused children to be sacred work, that helping even a single child stitches up a huge hole in the world. Whether volunteer work is a mandatory part of your faith or something that simply strengthens it, it can be transcedent in many ways.

Perhaps the most important thing we have to give is our time. We cannot give of ourselves if we do not first give the time to do what we’ve pledged to do. So get out there! With thousands of volunteer centers throughout the world and the Internet teeming with calls to action, a plethora of exciting opportunities await you.

Switch a Hobby Into a Helping Hand

According to Nancy Monson, author of The Healing Power of Crafts, hobbies and crafts are a multibillion-dollar industry in America. Over three-quarters of American households have at least one family member who spends an average of 7.5 hours per week engaged in a beloved hobby or pastime. Creative outlets such as painting, knitting, gardening, and carpentry provide talented crafters with opportunities to express themselves artistically while producing something other people can enjoy or use. While some people may have an innate talent for writing or an aptitude for technology, others are gifted singers, golfers, or even great history buffs.

These kinds of hobbies produce objects that can, believe or not, be used in a way that makes a massive difference in the world.

Painters can teach art classes to special needs children. Singers can use the beauty of their voice and love of song to bring lessons and music to inner city children who’s schools can’t afford an arts & music program. History buffs can assist museums, present guided tours for the community, and present history lessons for teenagers through school outreach courses. Even golfers can share their love of hobby, in a positive way; offering free lessons on the weekend to engage troubled teens in a meditative sport that requires focus, commitment and patience. A golfer could also volunteer to serve as a golf historian in the community – where they would collect, preserve and share golf’s rich history with others and organize fun golf tournaments to benefit charity.

Anybody who has gift, talent, special skill, or love a pastime can make a change in the world by sharing it with others in some way! Look at local community centers and outreach programs to find out how your hobbies can be put to good use.