Hello, my name is ___ and I’m a volunteer

These are among the sweetest words that an organization with needs could hear. To have individuals who are willing, able, interested, committed and giving of their personal time towards their mission and tasks is priceless to any organization, and more so for non-profits.

What do you remember about your first volunteer experience? If it was as a child, it may have been helping at school, with classroom chores or in the lunchroom, helping the staff. If you were a scout, your troop may have done some gardening for older adults no longer able to tend to it themselves. In college, many sororities and fraternities adopt local organizations and encourage members to do whatever work is needed. In the workplace, companies take pride in having a strong presence in the community and provide staff with opportunities during the year to take time off and volunteer at organizations of their choice.

When an organization that serves a community has a reliable, committed and resilient group of volunteers, it means their staff can focus on growing the organization, and ensures a community in need will receive the goods or services they depend on. In the midst of the pandemic, those needs have multiplied beyond any expectation, and volunteers are necessary—and appreciated—more than ever before.

Throughout the month of April, we’ll be celebrating volunteerism and those who selflessly give of their time and talents. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of life’s daily routines, but it has not changed the need for volunteers. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine recently shared 9 Tips for Successful Volunteering During COVID-19.

It reminds us that volunteering in person is possible during the pandemic, and how to identify nearby organizations with needs. The piece also serves a reminder that it’s important for an individual to volunteer to do tasks they enjoy, to follow their passion and to volunteer alongside a friend. 

Volunteer with a friend. It is Tip #6 on the list and carries with it the benefits you would imagine—the experience can be more fun and has the benefit of making each person accountable to the other to follow through on the commitment. Everyone, most of all those who benefit from the volunteer-driven services, wins!

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

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