Volunteering is an important way to give back to your community, learn new skills, and form connections with like-minded people. Volunteering also has the ability to boost your mental health. It can help combat depression, as it helps you develop a support system and keep in regular contact with others. It can also help relieve stress and anxiety, especially when volunteering with animals. Overall, volunteering can help make you happier, as the more we give and help others, the happier we feel (Robinson & Segal, 2020).
Now, due to the pandemic, in-person volunteer opportunities may be cancelled or hard to find. The good news is that there are still many opportunities to either volunteer in-person (safely) or virtually. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some popular websites to look for information, as well as local volunteer opportunities in Delaware;
1. VolunteerMatch. This one is probably one of the most popular and well-known websites to look for volunteer openings. Simply type in your location, area of interest and hit search! There are plenty of virtual opportunities, as well, such as blogging or tutoring.
2. United Way. Similar to VolunteerMatch, it also allows you to enter your location, as well as filter by skill set and areas of interest. United Way also offers the ability for donations or joining a group, such as Women United or Young Leaders Society.
3. Idealist. This is another great volunteer board, that also includes postings on jobs and internships in the nonprofit sector.
If you are local to the Delaware area and are looking to volunteer virtually, here are some great opportunities;
- Virtual Reading Angels Team with United Way of Delaware
- Literacy Tutor with Delaware County Literacy Council
- Wellness Team Lead Volunteer with Jewish Family Services (JFS)
There are so many great volunteer opportunities out there, both in-person and virtual-all you have to do is look for them!
Guest Blogger: Mollie Clupper, Public Ally
Mollie Clupper is working as a Public Ally AmeriCorps Apprentice for MHA. Using her own experiences, she wants to help bring awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, drinking coffee, and spending time with her fur-niece.
Source: Robinson, L. & Segal, J. (2020). Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits. Retrieved on December 12, 2020 at https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/volunteering-and-its-surprising-benefits.htm.