Volunteer in the new year
Each year, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to volunteer more. It’s easy for everyday life to quickly get in the way of your desire to help others—so why not pick a way to be of service right now? USA.gov has plenty of resources and ways to help you get started:
• Take the worry out of choosing an organization to help—Concerned about the legitimacy of the group you’re donating your time to? USA.gov’s Public Service and Volunteerism page lists tons of approved organizations where you can get involved without having to worry that they could be fraudulent.
There are also many federal organizations that offer volunteer opportunities, like the Peace Corps or Senior Corps.
• Share your experiences and learn from others—Get ideas and inspiration from other volunteers by checking out United We Serve (www.serve.gov). Share your own project, and let others know of its progress. You can also match your own interests and location with specific current volunteer opportunities.
• Get your kids involved— It’s crucial that young people know the importance of giving back, in order to continue the cycle of volunteerism. The publication
Catch the Spirit (available for free download at http://publications.usa.gov/USAPubs.php?- PubID=5483) provides ideas and information on how students can help make their communities a better place.
Before the new year quickly becomes the spring, take the first step to make volunteering a regular part of your life yearround.
Need a specific start date as a kick-off? Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 20) has been designated as the national MLK Day of Service. Choose how you can enjoy helping others the most, and start volunteering.