Volunteering — Like Work, but Better!

by Katy on October 23, 2009 · 11 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published blog. Enjoy!

My family volunteers.

Here, there and especially at the library.

My husband volunteers as the equipment manager for our local recreational non-profit soccer club. This means that he coordinates all soccer equipment for the largest league in the state of Oregon.

It’s a big commitment.

What this really means is:

The only clean and bright room in my basement is filled to the brim with goals, corner posts, soccer balls and other miscellaneous soccer crap. Really though, I don’t mind. I see the big picture.

My 11 and 14-year-old sons volunteer for our library’s summer reading program. They commit to a weekly two hour shift throughout the summer. They sign kids up for the program and pass out prizes and T-shirts.

Not only does this teach them the value of helping others, it also helps them get over their shyness about talking to strangers.

Me? I also volunteer for the summer reading program. Plus I volunteer for the schools, although less than I used to. One year as PTA President cured me of thinking school volunteering could be enjoyable.


The volunteer work we do now is very satisfying. Because we are choosing what we do, it’s better than real work.

When volunteering, we get to choose what we do.

Like reading?

How about the library?

Like soccer?

job on the soccer board is right up your alley.

Also, you get to meet people who share your own interests.

Many companies, both large and small are supportive of employee volunteerism. Contact your human resources department to see if your workplace has a program to let you volunteer on company time.

Not sure where to volunteer?

Websites such as volunteermatch.com will help you find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you.

When you volunteer you’re not only helping out others, but get that lovely feeling of having done a selfless act.

Where do you volunteer? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise October 24, 2009 at 8:06 am

We volunteer for the American Red Cross as disaster relief workers. We are members of a club that has permission from the Red Cross to live in our RVs while doing this work. It is a great opportunity for my husband and I to work together in our area of specialization, technology.

We love it because we’re working with a great group of people for a great cause, and when the job is done, we don’t have to follow up with a bunch of paperwork. We have our home-on-wheels with us, and our pets, so we are comfortable in the midst of disaster.


Lisa October 24, 2009 at 10:25 am

We volunteer at a local office that provides government assistance to needy people. Sometimes I do the computer work necessary for people to receive help with their utility bills. At other times my husband and I sack groceries then carry them out on distribution day. I also volunteered for the local Medicine Assistance Program. They acted as go-betweens between pharmaceutical companies and clients so that prescription medicines could be received for a nominal fee.


Jupe Blue October 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I volunteer my skills for Habitat for Humanity (habitatportlandmetro.org) and Rebuilding Together (http://www.rebuildingtogetherportland.org/).

I give my money to Oregon Food Bank and Oregon Humane Society.


Tracy October 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I volunteer at the Dearborn Animal Shelter, the volunteer-run shelter for our city of 100,000. I wash pet dishes or clean cages, or sometimes just sit quietly in one of the cat community rooms with a cat (or two or three) on my lap. My employer allows us two days a year for community service.


Dana October 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity also. I do their photography and make cookies for the workers every Wednesday.

I also volunteer at a local no-kill animal rescue. Sometimes I just go in and love on all the kitties. Doesn’t seem like work at all.



Jeni October 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I just signed up with the Big Brother Big Sister program. I will be matched up to mentor a kid that needs a good role model. It’s a great program.
I also do some volunteer work for Roosevelt High School. An inner-city school in Portland. Those kids have a lot to overcome and I like being a part of lifting them up and letting them know that someone cares about them.


Caroline October 25, 2009 at 2:10 am

I LOVE my volunteer work (as a complementary therapist for the cancer council and as a foster carer for a pet rescue agency). A purely selfish endeavour – I can’t believe they let me do such rewarding stuff – and an absolute joy!


Pat October 25, 2009 at 9:35 am

I volunteer for our local high school music program. I fit their outfits, hem if needed, I also work their benefits. I’m also president of our local school academic boosters. There’s a thankless job; but I’ve been doing it for about 5 years now and I know the kids I’ve talked to really appreciate it. I also volunteer at my church. I clean 2 rooms there weekly and I am responsible for all the recycling that the church does. Some weeks there is almost more than I can carry out to my car in two loads. So I just make for trips. I’m helping the church and the environment and that is very important to me as an individual.


stephanie October 25, 2009 at 10:47 am

I volunteer at my son’s school as there have been so many budget cuts they are really hurting (Reynold’s District). I also like know what’s going on and who his classmates are and what is being taught in the class. I love talking to the kids too, He is in first grade and they so fun to talk too! I wish more parents could be there. I also help is the library to shelve books as that is another area that has been cut.


Linda October 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Thank goodness for all the volunteers! We could not get much done without them in the schools, libraries, kids sports programs, Council on Aging, etc.

I love my volunteer work and would not want to give it up! I am glad that my frugal ways have allowed me the luxury of time for volunteer work.


Rona October 26, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I volunteer at our home church. Our teen volunteers with the “athletically challenges” kids at his distance learning program.

I do enjoy volunteering. Especially now that I have the time.


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