Religious Volunteering: How to Get Started
One of the most satisfying things you can do is volunteer. Volunteering is arguably as rewarding for the volunteer as it is for the beneficiary, and it’s also a great way to become involved in your community. But where do you start?
If you’ve never volunteered before, local religious organizations serve as a great starting point for getting to know your charitable side. Even if you don’t personally consider yourself a religious person, many churches and religious charities would welcome your help in meeting the community’s needs. If you still need some ideas for how your volunteer services could be put to good use, check out the tips below:
Religious organizations often organize community outreach events that are designed to assist the less fortunate in meeting daily needs. If you volunteer with a church, you could help with a community outreach event that provides nearby residents with Bibles, Bible covers and a bag of groceries. Clothing drives are popular at the end of summer when school is about to resume, and you can probably find a food drive to participate in during the holiday season. If you can’t find a charity drive to participate in, consider organizing your own. You could garner the support of multiple religious organizations and non-profits in your area to achieve a common goal.
Many organizations recognize that some people are incapable of preparing a hot meal for themselves – perhaps due to disability or homelessness. Some religious organizations have shelter projects designed to give these people a hot meal every day and a place to stay if needed. You could volunteer your time once or twice a week to serve lunches or dinners at a nearby shelter, or find a mobile meal service to deliver hot food directly to the doorsteps of people in need.
If there’s anything churches, charities and other religious organizations are in need of more than volunteers, it’s money. By volunteering to help raise money, you can help fill two needs at one time. To get started, ask your local church when the next bake sale is, and follow up by donating some fresh homemade cookies or an apple pie.
Do the Heavy Lifting
Community outreach programs and churches enjoy helping other people, but those good deeds don’t come without a great deal of ‘behind-the-scenes’ work. Offer up your own elbow grease by helping with the less glamorous side of charity. Your work pushing papers in the office or cleaning up the parking lot will be much appreciated and is just as important as organizing a big outreach.
Regardless of how you choose to start volunteering in your community, the most important step is getting started. Charity work should never feel like a chore, so be sure not to overwhelm yourself at first. Choose to help in an area that you feel passionate about, and do so according the schedule that works best for you. Remember, it isn’t about your qualifications – it’s about your willingness to serve.