Oklahoma ranks 20th in nation for volunteering; what to ask before signing up

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According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a little more than a quarter of Americans volunteer at least once a year.

Oklahoma ranks 20th in the nation for volunteering.

While Christmas is the perfect time of year to lend a helping hand, there are some things you need to know before you sign up.

Do your homework: Find out the mission of the organization.

Determine how the program is funded.

Also, find out how they match volunteers to specific projects; do they base it on skills, or interests?

Another very important question to ask is how much time you will need to commit.

Volunteers should also think about the risks; does the organization provide any training?

Are you required to provide your own tools or supplies?

Be wary of any group that requires a fee to volunteer.

Also ask if there are any security or health concerns related to your work.

Most importantly, if you get hurt, are you covered by the organization’s insurance?