By Terry Tateossian, founding partner of Socialfix Media, MIT blockchain and AI-certified consultant, speaker and activist.
Volunteering your time, expertise and effort to make your community more vibrant is a rewarding experience indeed. It can give you a sense of purpose, strengthen your ties with your community and provide you with a multitude of firsthand learning experiences that broaden your horizons. It also makes a difference in your community. Spending time at a children’s hospital, donating your products or services or offering your expertise are some great ways to embrace your community, help those who are less fortunate or in need and impart your skills to others.
Volunteer At A Children’s Institution
Helping children in need is one of the noblest acts you can do for a human being. It is a way to create hope and a safe space where a child doesn’t feel abandoned in their pain, grief or personal tragedy. Volunteering at a local hospital, children’s cancer clinic, residential care setting or school for children with special needs are some of the ways to help kids who are coping with illness as well as those who are often overlooked.
Volunteering your time at a children’s hospital, for example, helps ease the stress felt by young patients navigating tough times. You can find a variety of opportunities to get involved such as reading to children, playing during wait times, escorting patients to appointments and helping organize a clean and safe environment for children. Likewise, volunteering for a non-profit that supports children with special needs is an opportunity to make a real contribution. There are many nonprofit organizations where you can volunteer your time. They work with children with impairments, learning difficulties and special educational needs. Nonprofits also offer a variety of programs and ways volunteers can assist, like counseling, teaching through educational activities and games, and helping with therapy sessions and rehabilitation to improve children’s quality of life.
Donate Your Products Or Services
Offering your products or services to people who need them the most is another way to give back to your community. Depending on your business, you can donate makeup or hygiene products to a domestic violence shelter, food items to a soup kitchen or crafting kits and board games to a nursing home.
And in times of crisis, there will be more people who need help in ways you might not have thought of yet. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies acted to assist public response in ways unique to their business. Hilton, for example, offered complimentary rooms to frontline healthcare professionals working in challenging situations. Cisco donated desktop videoconferencing equipment from their vacant offices to healthcare organizations to help them expand their telehealth capabilities. Publix Super Markets purchased surplus milk from farmers and donated it to community food banks. As these examples show, whenever need arises, you can think of ways you can offer support and take action in the public interest.
Lend Your Skills
As a business owner, you have surely developed some specific competencies and skills that helped you succeed and tackle difficult times. You can share those skills with others who are interested or in need to transform their lives. Lending your skills to local businesses, community members or nonprofit organizations is a way to support all those who can benefit from your expertise and knowledge. You can either host local events or offer classes or training sessions to help others learn and grow. Alternatively, you can partner with a youth group, school or college and offer internship or mentorship opportunities. Offering free training and education programs can be a wonderful way to help others learn marketable skills they would otherwise not have.
Your to-do list can seem endless as a business owner. With all the tasks to complete and activities to implement within a certain timeline, volunteering might seem counterintuitive and an impossible time commitment. Yet, donating resources or volunteering your skills or time can be an opportunity to better your community, enrich your life with new experiences and grow as a person. Spending time helping out is an extremely beneficial and rewarding experience that helps transform lives and your perspective. And with the plethora of simple yet effective ways to contribute, there is ample opportunity to put your skills to work and support the place you call home.
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