Volunteering Over the Summer - Sarah Laud

Volunteering is a popular activity. Not only do you help your community, but you also keep busy and meet people. Summer is a great time to volunteer. Many nonprofits are short-staffed because some of their volunteers are on vacation. Additionally, there are chances to volunteer that is only offered during the summer.

Donate Unwanted Items

Your spring cleaning uncovered some items that you can no longer use. If not, why not have another round of cleaning during the summer.

Check with various nonprofits to see what they need. For example, your library might want used books while your unwanted clothes could go to another charity.

Some items might be hard to donate, such as furniture or kitchen machinery. You could have a yard sale and donate the proceeds. If you want, you could throw a large sale in conjunction with your neighbors.

Volunteer at a Summer Program

Many nonprofits have a summer program that needs volunteers. This includes local museums, community centers, and summer reading programs at libraries. If you like working with kids, this is a great option. Be aware that a background check is usually done, which can take several weeks. The earlier you apply, the better.

Volunteer at a Farmer’s Market

In most areas, the local farmer’s market is operated by a nonprofit. Farming goods and food products are sold there by local farmers and entrepreneurs. It’s often outdoors, so you get to be outside in the beautiful summer weather.

There are numerous things you could be doing. Often a farmer’s market is open once a week. If you are strong, someone needs to set up and break down the market. You could do the marketing and community outreach. Some extraverted individuals might like staffing the information table and handing out brochures. Sometimes farmer’s markets need people to help with doing food demos and the occasional special event.

Virtual volunteering

Some people like volunteering from the comfort of their own homes. This way, they can avoid a time-consuming and costly commute. Sometimes it’s more skills-oriented rather than generic volunteering. Virtual volunteering works best if you have an in-demand skill. This could include writing, editing, accounting, and graphic design. Some charities will need help with basic things like data entry, though.

Be sure to prepare a resume of all your previous experiences. You can browse sites like idealist.org for opportunities.

Summer is a great time to volunteer. There are many opportunities available.