By: Susan Fiorentino, Manhattan College Alumna
December is a great time to not only reconnect with family and friends from home, but to also find a way to give back to your community. You will be able to make a difference in a familiar setting while building relationships with people who share your same interests– maybe even while you’re home on winter break!
Now that I am living back in my hometown, the first place I looked for volunteer opportunities were with the schools I attended. Even though I went away for college, I always kept in contact with the alumni groups of my elementary and high school.
I knew that living at home would be a challenge, so getting involved with something from my past helped ease me through the transition and reconnect to my community. An opportunity to coach my high school cheerleading team came to be and I knew this was one way I could give back. It allowed me to keep my interest with cheerleading alive, and let me give back to the kids in my community.
You can also get involved by researching organizations and causes you’re passionate about and reaching out to the local office to inquire about volunteering. Even if they do not have something at that time, ask how to be alerted to upcoming volunteer opportunities, and find other opportunities for right now. Organizations actively look for volunteers because they know that there are passionate individuals out there who are able to make a difference. With a little time, you will be sure to find the perfect one for you based on your talents and interests.
If you have the time and ability to commit, there are some organizations that even allow you to plan your own event that benefits their cause. I researched and found two that I am currently planning: supporting breast cancer survivors and the Marines. This will be an opportunity to reach out to others who share my interests and workin with a team. It’s definitely a worthwhile way to spend my time.
What a great way to make a difference, in your own community!
Tweet me @_susanmegan to let me know how you are getting involved with your community or for tips on how to look for an organization to volunteer!