So you’re ready to give back to your community, to the world and you’re wondering where to start. There are so many worthy causes, and so many people in need, it can get you confused deciding what to choose. I’ve been volunteering for many years and I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ve complied a list of what to and what not to do’s. Tip#1 What touches your heart? When you see a commercial about starving children in Africa do you reach for the tissues and wish you could feed them through the screen? Do you see people littering or using too many pesticides and break out in a cold sweat? How you answer these questions and your response to situations and needs is the first step in finding your volunteer niche. Tip#2 Don’t try to take on someone else’s niche. It’s easy to get swept up in a cause that a friend or family member gives their heart and soul to. They’re passionate about it and you can start to think that’s what you should get behind as well. Separate yourself from all the things you see them do and hear them say and ask yourself if you would lay your life down for that particular cause. Tip#3 Check your local newspaper and find volunteer clubs that champion a variety of charities. They normally have weekly or monthly meetings. Tip#4 Get your feet wet. It’s ok to take your time and increase your volunteer time and causes as you go along. If it’s meant for you, you will go from volunteer to activist. Tip#5 Make sure you really are enjoying what you profess to believe in. It should warm your heart even at the end of a long, arduous volunteer day, knowing you’ve followed your passion.
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