5 Ways to Pay it Forward During National Volunteer Week
Giving back not only helps others, but it can help yourself too. Read our ideas on how you can pay it forward during National Volunteer Week and beyond.
By bonneville on April 17, 2023
National Volunteer Week runs April 16-22 to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time and talent to support causes they care about.
Giving back to your community has a twofold benefit: not only are you helping someone in need, but studies have shown that it also improves your mental health. It can counteract stress and anxiety, and fosters meaningful connections to your environment.
Keep reading for a few different ways to pay it forward right where you are, starting now.
Volunteer at a Local Nonprofit
Consider what issues are close to your heart, and then seek out an organization near you that serves people related to that. For example, consider volunteering at a local food bank if you have ever struggled to pay for groceries. Some people may find housing insecurity important, so they might volunteer at a shelter or outreach center.
Once you have decided what you want to volunteer for, look up the website and contact information for an organization that provides services for that. Only some organizations can accept new volunteers, or they might only take volunteers on a specific day or time. It’s important that you do your research before you show up to respect everyone’s time.
Participate in a Community Service Project
Community service projects can include cleaning parks and providing extra hands at a youth sports match. These are usually one-time events that you can quickly sign up for when an organization or group needs extra sets of hands to make their event a success.
You can also sign up for disaster relief. For example, many opportunities exist in the Salt Lake Valley to help fill sandbags for flood prevention. Check out this resource from KSL TV for up-to-date information on where to help with flooding prevention.
Donate to a Local Charity
Sometimes a simple donation can make the most significant impact on an organization. Donations help organizations grow, and showing the community backs them might help them receive more opportunities for grants and matching contributions.
If you donate to an organization you care about, consider setting up a recurring donation to help them budget for the year. A donation as small as $10 a month can significantly impact them over time.
Attend or Host a Fundraising Event
Take your donation up a notch and get other people on board for the cause, too! Fundraising events are fun opportunities to spend time with friends and family for a good cause.
Hosting a fundraising event can be as straightforward or as complicated as you want it to be. If you are limited on resources, keep it simple, such as a small dinner party or a bingo night at a public event center. Or if you are a musician, you might get your friends together to play a concert.
To help make the event a success, you should clearly state its purpose, why the cause is important, and create a fundraising goal so people feel incentives to help you reach it.
Help Your Neighbor
Sometimes the most you can do is for the person right next door to you. Establishing good relationships with your neighbors can provide safety and security. Something as simple as dropping off a meal, shoveling their sidewalk, or leaving them a note to let them know you’ll be around during their time of need can be a considerable comfort.
There are so many ways that you can show up for others. Even something as simple as doing one kind act a day can have a huge reach. You can also encourage your coworkers and employees to volunteer by organizing team volunteer days.
Although National Volunteer Week is only seven days, you can volunteer year-round to make a big difference in your community.