Give your talents to others through volunteer activities. Offering your specialized skills to others helps them be successful and allows you to give back with what you love to do most. On top of that, studies show giving back makes people happy.
What talent do you have? How can you give your talents to others?
For Those That Craft
Crafters around the world unite – give your talents to others on-line and make a difference. Here is Impact with Crafts, an ezine with ideas ranging from writing love letters to welcome to town cards. Craft Activism and Craft Hope are great books and online communities that help connect crafters. Hospitals often receive knitted hats for newborns. The foster care system uses homemade pillowcases and stuffed animals. Other crafters use the sales of their handmade items to donate to nonprofits.
For Those That Are Financially Savvy
Many nonprofits such as homeless centers, women in transition, and churches offer budgeting classes. Specialty classes that cover the needs of the elderly, changes in health care, tax preparation, college preparation, and retirement are also areas that are taught through churches, libraries, and community centers. For those who are financially savvy – give your talents to others by offering to teach a class.
For Those That Are Builders
Habitat for Humanity offers great opportunities locally and globally. Do you travel in an RV? Join an RV Care-A-Vanners group and serve while you travel. Consider picking up donations for your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
For Those That Love Reading
Often schools and libraries offer reading programs for children. Readers, give your talents to these programs. They need volunteers. Having a friendly face to work one-on-one with students can improve reading fluency. Adult education programs also have literacy needs, as well as English as a Second Language Programs. Hop on We Give Books with your grandkids to donate a book when you read together. Better World Book donations help fund global literacy.
For The Sports Lover
Schools that host Girls on the Run love volunteers that encourage a love of running. Give your talents to your local Special Olympics. Choose races that support a cause, or race for a specific cause. Consider donating a matching entry fee to the cause of your choice. When you walk, bike, or run use the Charity Miles App to raise funds for the non-profit you choose. Donate through Sports Gift to support programs that do not have an abundance of resources.
For The Fashion Forward
Donate through Dress for Success to provide women with a career building wardrobe. Souls4Shoes and Clothes4Souls accept donations of shoes and clothing for distribution globally. Donate My Dress encourages women to donate formal wear for use by those that might otherwise go without. Wedding dresses can be donated through Brides Against Breast Cancer. Just spreading the word about these organizations can make a difference. The fashion forward can also host a night out for single Moms. Give your talents and provide free hair care, a manicure, or a massage.
For Those Who Love Art, History, and Travel
Consider being a guide or educator for your local history or art museum. Tour guides often host school field trips. You can travel and volunteer with UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many hospitals, schools, mental health facilities, and nursing homes provide art therapy and can use volunteers. Give your talents to a history project with your local library or local historical society.
For the Environmentalist
Get involved with your local farmers’ market or Community Supported Agriculture program. Volunteer with a Nature Conservatory project in your area. Offer your time to parks, outdoor spaces, and beaches through clean up efforts. Give your talents by leading an Environmental Protection Agency Project with your local school or community group.
For Those That Love The Unexpected
Consider service to your local inmate population. Many prisons offer volunteer opportunities covering a variety of needs. Offer services as a guest speaker in your area of interest to your local schools, universities, or library. REI Corporation takes volunteers on adventure volunteer vacations that assist with conservation. Bridge Volunteers also match up travel with volunteering.
Connecting You To Opportunities
Need some additional assistance to give your talent? Check out CatchaFire. Here, nonprofits post their needs and if you have the skills they seek, you can offer your volunteer services right from home. You can even browse by cause and filter by expertise. You can lend your skills to making promotional videos, website construction, donor relations, graphic design, and writing to highlight just a few. VolunteerMatch can also help you find specific areas to volunteer. Cross Cultural Solutions matches retirees with volunteer opportunities abroad.
What are your areas of expertise and passion? How have you volunteered your skills? What might you try that would challenge your comfort zone? Give your talents to others and you will be happier!