[Community-service] Starting off 2015 by getting involved

Chris Parsons christine-parsons at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jan 4 05:18:12 UTC 2015

Hi all,

First, a very happy new year to my fellow Community Service Division members. With the beginning of the new year, I thought we could do something fun that will hopefully also encourage people to get more involved in their communities throughout 2015 and beyond.

Tell us about an organization—local or national—that you really, really want to volunteer with. Maybe it’s one that you’ve known about for some time but just haven’t approached yet to see about volunteering, either because you’re not sure how you would do some of the tasks, you’re not sure you have time, or you’re hesitant for some other reason. If you don’t already have an organization in mind, look around on the Internet a bit for organizations in your community and see what you find that sparks your interest. I’ve found that www.greatnonprofits.org is a great resource for all kinds of nonprofit organizations all over the country that may be in need of volunteers. I love cats, and when I lived in Denver last year, I found a small no-kill cat shelter on GreatNonprofits that I never would have found otherwise. GreatNonprofits also has reviews from volunteers about what it’s like to volunteer for specific organizations.

Remember to think big:  When you’re thinking about or looking for your organization, focus on something that you’re really passionate about, that makes you think “Wow, that sounds amazing! I really want to do that!” Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to do some of the tasks or if some of the tasks seem intimidating. That’s what we’re all here for (more on that in just a bit *smile*).

Once you’ve picked an organization, tell us about it--what it is, what it’s about, and why its mission, values, focus, or anything else about it speaks to you and makes you absolutely want to volunteer there. If you have any questions or concerns about volunteering there or about any of the tasks that volunteers may typically do there, feel free to ask them. That’s where all of us on this list come in. Ultimately, my hope is that the sharing and networking that happen here will result in more people finding organizations to volunteer with and more opportunities to give back to their communities.

Chris Parsons
Vice President, National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division
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