Monthly archive for February 2020

Citywalk News for February

Why Volunteer?

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find new friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.

Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.

Benefits of volunteering: 4 ways to feel healthier and happier

  • Volunteering connects you to others
  • Volunteering is good for your mind and body
  • Volunteering can advance your career
  • Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life

Source: HelpGuide.org (Your trusted guide to mental health & wellness)

Tips to get started

First, ask yourself if there is something specific you want to do.

For example, do I want…

  • …to improve the neighborhood where I live
  • …to meet people who are different than I am
  • …to try something new
  • …to do something with my spare time
  • …to see a different way of life and new places
  • …to have a go at the type of work I might want as a full-time job
  • …to do more with my interests and hobbies
  • …to share something in which I’m good

The best way to volunteer is to find a match with your personality and interests. Having answers to these questions will help you narrow down your search. Source: World Volunteer Web

How to find the right volunteer opportunity

There are numerous volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that your commitment matches the organization’s needs. Ask yourself the following:

  • Would you like to work with adults, children, animals, or remotely from home?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
  • Are you better behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?
  • How much time are you willing to commit?
  • What skills can you bring to a volunteer job?
  • What causes are important to you?

Where to find volunteer opportunities

  • Community theaters, museums, and monuments
  • Libraries or senior centers
  • Service organizations such as Lions Clubs or Rotary Clubs
  • Local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or wildlife centers
  • Youth organizations, sports teams, and after-school programs
  • Historical restorations, national parks, and conservation organizations
  • Places of worship such as churches or synagogues

How much time should you volunteer?

Volunteering doesn’t have to take over your life to be beneficial. In fact, research shows that just two to three hours per week, or about 100 hours a year, can confer the most benefits—to both you and your chosen cause. The important thing is to volunteer only the amount of time that feels comfortable to you. Volunteering should feel like a fun and rewarding hobby, not another chore on your to-do list.

Getting the most out of volunteering

You’re donating your valuable time, so it’s important that you enjoy and benefit from your volunteering. To make sure that your volunteer position is a good fit:

  • Ask questions. You want to make sure that the experience is right for your skills, your goals, and the time you want to spend. Sample questions for your volunteer coordinator might address your time commitment, if there’s any training involved, who you will be working with, and what to do if you have questions during your experience.
  • Make sure you know what’s expected. You should be comfortable with the organization and understand the time commitment. Consider starting small so that you don’t over commit yourself at first. Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if needed.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a change. Don’t force yourself into a bad fit or feel compelled to stick with a volunteer role you dislike. Talk to the organization about changing your focus or look for a different organization that’s a better fit.
  • Enjoy yourself. The best volunteer experiences benefit both the volunteer and the organization. If you’re not enjoying yourself, ask yourself why. Is it the tasks you’re performing? The people you’re working with? Or are you uncomfortable simply because the situation is new and unfamiliar? Pinpointing what’s bothering you can help you decide how to proceed.

Source: HelpGuide.org (Your trusted guide to mental health & wellness)

Next month we will suggest a few organizations here in the Ferguson community that would appreciate your time and support. We’ll also give you a few ideas of opportunities you can do on your own or with your family.

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FERGUSON CITYWALK
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Ferguson, MO 63135
(314) 524-5197
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