In times as difficult as these, it’s easy to see why so many people have turned an eye towards charity. With the economic divide at all-time highs, cost-of-living rapidly increasing and a global pandemic entering its third year, there’s little wonder as to why a growing number of citizens are looking to give back. Unfortunately, due to packed work schedules and various non-work responsibilities, many of us feel that we lack the time to properly help our respective communities. However, as you’ll find, there are a number of charitable actions you can perform without compromising your work schedule or placing a strain on your leisure time.
Volunteer at an Understaffed School
Many understaffed schools are always on the hunt for eager volunteers. In some cases, volunteering at a school will entail doing basic clerical work and assisting office staff in a variety of ways. In other instances, you may find yourself tasked with being a recess and/or lunchroom monitor.
In addition to giving of your time, there are a number of material items that schools are more than happy to accept. Library books, unneeded computer equipment and teaching supplies are all examples of donations that many schools are actively seeking at all times.
Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Anyone with a soft spot for animals should consider becoming a shelter volunteer. Since this isn’t a paid position, you won’t have to worry about sticking to a strict schedule, and you’ll largely be able to set your own hours. However, it’s important to remember that this job will entail a lot more than gushing over puppies and kittens. In all likelihood, you’ll be tasked with cleaning up an array of messes, processing adoption paperwork and performing a variety of clerical tasks. While you’ll still get to spend time with a wide assortment of furry friends, this is unlikely to constitute the bulk of your responsibilities.
Pick Up Litter
Volunteering to pick up litter can be a great way to show pride in your community and beautify areas that are awash with improperly-disposed-of trash. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get involved with litter cleanup. You can join an existing local cleanup group, start your own or simply pick up litter by yourself in your spare time. So, if you’re tired of seeing other people’s garbage turn certain parts of your community into eyesores, don’t hesitate to join the cleanup effort.
Volunteer at Rest Homes and Senior Centers
Many rest homes and senior centers will gladly accept all the help they can get. As is the case when volunteering at schools, your duties are likely to vary from place to place. For example, at certain facilities, you may be tasked with organizing and/or overseeing group activities, whereas others will simply ask that you sit and talk with the residents. Additionally, depending on how active the seniors you’re working with are, you may even play a role in planning day trips and other group outings.
If you’re unable to volunteer at either of the aforementioned locations, you can still help the seniors in your life in a variety of ways. For example, if you have parents, grandparents, friends or neighbors who are unable to drive, consider taking on some of their driving errands. Similarly, if you know any immunocompromised seniors, walk them through the basics of remote shopping and volunteer to take on errands that involve venturing into crowded public spaces.
Donate to a Food Drive
No matter where you live, you should have no trouble finding a food drive to contribute to. Many churches and shelters are always accepting food donations, and the contributions can get pretty light outside of the holiday season. Californians looking for a worthy cause should consider donating to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano.
It’s hard to deny that we’re living through some exceptionally tough times. Although a lot of us have managed to weather the storm, it’s no exaggeration to say that life has gotten more difficult for virtually everyone over the past few years. That being the case, it’s only natural that so many people are looking to do right by their respective communities. If you count yourself among these individuals, take care to consider the low-stress giving options provided above.