Volunteers are people who provide time to different organizations without the expectation that they will receive payment. You can volunteer as an individual or as a group, and there are many types of organizations you can donate your time and skills to.
Volunteering can be helpful to both the individual volunteering and the organization receiving volunteer work. Organizations benefit from volunteers because they can get more work done when they are lacking resources. Some non-profits rely on the donations of others to keep their business running, and volunteer work helps them to lower their overhead costs in employment.
For individuals, you gain professional experience, while also knowing that you’re contributing to your community. For teens who aren’t able to have a paid job, volunteering can be a great way to add to your resume.
There are many volunteer opportunities no matter where you live. If you look online, you can find many places that offer volunteer hours, and you can check with your school, religious organization or youth group. Some examples of volunteer opportunities include:
The Beacon is a place to volunteer if you want to support Houston’s homeless populations. The Beacon is not a homeless shelter but functions as a service center where homeless people can receive showers, laundry, and two meals a day. As a volunteer, you can do laundry, administer showers, check them into the facility, serve food, help in the kitchen, do cleaning, and so many other things. There is always a way that you can help out.
You can volunteer at the Houston Food Bank. The purpose of the food bank is to provide nutritional and fresh meals to Houston’s youth and other needy populations that do not have access to enough food on their own. You can volunteer there to pack meals and boxes and help ship food, among many other things. Follow this link to learn more about the Houston Food Bank.
Houston’s SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a place to volunteer if you like animals. Located north of Memorial Park, the Houston SPCA is designed for long-term volunteering. You must be 16 years old and commit to 8 hours of volunteer work per month for six months. In addition to volunteering at the shelter, you can also foster or adopt an animal that needs a home, and much more.
Once you are established with an organization, you will likely meet other volunteers who know of additional volunteer opportunities you may not have thought about. So if you worry that you don’t know where to find enough places to volunteer, that problem will typically solve itself. Your first step is to start volunteering and establish yourself as a volunteer.