Volunteer smarter; not harder

AppleMovieDayVolunteer month is upon us, my friends. I hope you are getting into the spirit, and if not, you have plenty of time. No excuses!

Below are some tips from TIME Magazine’s interview with Lauren Bush, CEO of the non-profit FEED. Here is how to make your hours more enjoyable, effective, and… existent.

1. Pick your pleasure:
Never “sacrifice” your time to volunteer. Give back by doing something you love. For instance, volunteer at a football camp if you like football. If you have a knack for painting, help kids learn the tricks of the trade. In short, utilize your skill set. Any talent can be harnessed for the cause of your choice. In TIME’s article, Bush notes that “when you marry your specific skill set and expertise, not only will you be more engaged and excited, but your time will be better spent.” We should look forward to volunteering, and quality hours are easy if you enjoy what you are doing.

2. Be a Constant
You know the guy that says, “I’ll have the usual” at the coffee shop? He gets his coffee faster and exactly how he likes it. Be that volunteer! Veteran volunteers get the perks— the right size of shirt, the good serving spoon, or the better role. People know you and your strengths, you know what to do, and you can build a relationship with the organization and community.

3. Combine people, but split time:
No doubt, the biggest issue with volunteering is fitting it into your schedule. Exercise, family time, and work are things we may not be willing to give up. To every woe, I have an answer.

  • Exercise Charity Miles is an app where you can earn $.25 for every mile you run. It costs nothing, and if you are running anyway, bring your phone along to do some good. Pick out of 30 charities to help your cause.
  • Family Time Volunteer with your family. Yes, you could spend the afternoon watching a movie together, but helping others seems more like “quality time” than sitting by each other for a couple of hours.
  • Work Organize a group volunteer activity with your coworkers. Many companies will match your hours, or let you go an hour earlier if the whole office is bonding while helping the community. So scoot on over to HR and see what you can cook up!

An hour or two each week can be better than a whole day one time. Split it up, and you’ll end up donating more hours over time. Don’t burn out. Most of us simply don’t have time for that, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it. Commit to what you can do well, and your charity will not go unnoticed. Better yet, it will make a difference.

Wherever you decide to spend your time, it can be insanely valuable. We at Walk With Sally would love for you to spend an hour or two with us. Just give us a call or fill out the bottom, and we will find the right activity for you and your schedule. We all can make this world a little bit better if we just chip in here and there.

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