By Jenelle Franklin
Everyone has time to volunteer somehow if they aren’t already. Time can be managed to volunteer on top of a schedule of: two jobs, full-time classes at Washtenaw Community College, writing for the Voice, being in a healthy relationship, owning a very happy cat and seeing family and friends; it’s been done before.
It is as simple as searching. As simple as picking something enjoyable to do in free time. Find some way to incorporate even a small piece of time helping people, animals or the planet itself that will spark personal satisfaction.
For someone wanting to own a pet, but it’s not the right time; the Humane Society of Huron Valley has wide-ranging volunteer programs.
“Some people experienced increased output of endorphins and dopamine after just five minutes with an animal,” according to a study by the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
Find a way to help beyond just what seems possible. Someone wanting to be around rural areas and horses, but lives close to campus for commuter sake can find a local horse farm (as close as Plymouth Rd. area) and o er help.
Some organizations couldn’t run without their volunteers. “Volunteering, when channeled correctly, can be a highly valuable asset,” according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
A good writer that may be in WCC’s nursing or culinary arts programs can help at places like 826Michigan and other local writing and tutoring centers.
What to remember about volunteering is, wherever feels right, is right. It is a happy place to escape to.
Students in the culinary arts program or those who are foodies at heart and want to share their delicious gift have many local kitchens seeking help, like in Alpha House and the “Community Kitchen” inside the Delonis Center.
Volunteers in America are responsible for helping out with 7.8 billion hours of volunteer work last year according to the Corporation for National & Community Service.
For people wanting to get their foot in the door during the summer, check out the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s conference on volunteering and service at Cobo Hall each year
“Michigan’s students should learn about the value of civic engagement from the day that they walk into their kindergarten classes to the day they graduate from post-secondary institutions” according to MNA’s recommendation.
As of the forest, water or Michigan wildlife available throughout the year are able to get involved with the DNR.
Finding a place to volunteer is like finding a second home. Because home is where the heart is.
“Giving yourself to others is the most important thing. When you give, you get something in return.”