Do you want to make a difference in the world but don’t have the time for an extravagant volunteer-abroad program? Or, perhaps you don’t have the funds to donate regularly to your favorite cause.
These factors shouldn’t discourage you from giving back. There are plenty of ways to get involved in your community (and more global ones) that don’t cost much money or time.
Check out these 4 unique ways you can volunteer your time and help others both in your city and all around the world.
1. Flag Ivory Items on eBay
In the early 2000s, it was common for ivory poachers to sell products made from elephants on sites like eBay and Craigslist. These brands have since made this practice illegal but don’t do enough to take down illegal posts.
According to DoSomething.org, around 100 African elephants are killed by poachers every day. If things continue at this rate, these creatures may be extinct by 2025.
If you have five or ten minutes to spare, you can hop on one of these websites, search for these illegal posts, and flag them.
You can take your activism one step further and write a letter to eBay’s or Craigslist’s CEO to emphasize what a problem this is.
2. Train Your Dog to Become a Therapy Dog
If you’re sitting around at home with your furry friend by your side thinking of different ways to volunteer, you should consider training him to become a therapy dog.
Therapy dogs are animals that provide companionship and affection to:
- Students in schools
- Elderly patients in nursing homes
- Sick patients in hospitals
- Recovering patients in rehabilitation centers and mental health institutions
If you appreciate your pup’s love so much that you don’t want to hog it all to yourself, you don’t have to! Learning how to register a therapy dog isn’t difficult, and the process will be very rewarding. You’ll get to see your pup help others through difficult times and offer the support they need to boost their spirits and improve their outlook.
3. Make DIY Dog Toys
Dog shelters, especially ones that are overcrowded, struggle to give their dogs the supplies and attention they need to thrive. You can help combat this issue by doing a little DIY work at home.
Make your own dog toys with supplies that you likely already have around the house. You can use items like spare PVC pipe, used tennis balls, and old clothing and rags. Simplicity is key when making your own dog toys. Avoid squeaky pieces that can scare anxious dogs and tiny components that can present choking hazards.
Once you’re done, you can deliver your finished toys to your local shelter. If you have the time, you can volunteer to play with the dogs there and show them your new toys. You will not only be giving the animals mental stimulation with their new toys, but you will also be giving them some much-needed attention and affection.
4. Share Your Talents
What are you talented at? Are you a piano-playing prodigy? A math whiz? A computer nerd? Whatever the case may be, share your talents with your community. Offer lessons or tutoring at a community center or nursing home. You will be helping others develop their skills while doing what you love. It’s a win-win situation!
No matter how you choose to volunteer, you will be putting more good into the world. Because the time you can spend on volunteering is limited, pick something that you’re passionate about! This will help you stay motivated and encourage you to work harder and make more of a meaningful impact.