OKLAHOMA CITY – Volunteering is one of the best ways to get involved with your community, and there are more tools than ever before to help you find the right organization.
To help find an interesting and satisfying volunteer opportunity, think about what you are interested in, what skills you can offer, how much time you’re willing to give and what do you want to gain from your experience.
Once you get a general idea, there are dozens of volunteer websites that can you find opportunities in your area.
Retiree volunteer sites: If you’re interested in opportunities that target older adults, some good options include AARP’s Create the Good or Senior Corps. Senior Corps offers three different programs: RSVP- which has various activities with flexible time commitments; the Senior Companion program- brings together volunteers and homebound seniors; and the Foster Grandparent program- which matches volunteers with kids in the community that have exceptional needs.
Government-sponsored sites: To locate dozens of general options in your area, visit Serve. To find natural and cultural volunteer opportunities in places like national and state parks, visit Volunteer. If you’re interested in emergency preparedness and disaster response volunteer services, visit Ready. If you want something longer-term, check out AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, which are three-month to two-year programs in the U.S. and abroad.
Professional and executive sites: If you have expertise in business, planning and development, marketing, communications, finance, fundraising, web and graphic design, or writing and editing- there are sites like Catch a Fire, Taproot Plus and ESCUS that can set you up with nonprofits in need. You can also help small business owners through SCORE.