I've been a volunteer since childhood, delivering meals on wheels for MIFA with my mom and grandmother. I volunteered at my church a lot in middle school, and volunteered at my local library branch in high school. I've volunteered with people with disabilities, and continued to volunteer at the library in different ways.
I was a volunteer coordinator at a learning center for people with disabilities and the library. I know how important volunteering is to so many organizations, especially nonprofits who need more staff than they can reasonably afford.
I also know that volunteering is important for the volunteers themselves. Volunteering might seem like a selfless act, and it's wonderful to give up your time for a cause. But you're volunteering to get something back, and that's fine! It's important to feel proud of what you're doing to help out. And for many teens when I worked at the library, it's important to get service hours for school, or experience in a career field you might want to explore, or to earn a letter of recommendation for college.
Volunteering helps everyone, and I love still being an active volunteer with many organizations. I write book reviews for Teen Bookletters for my library system. I conduct storytimes at preschools, and want to expand that to parks and community centers in spring and summer months. I have experience doing storytime programs for adults with disabilities, and I want to start that again. I also love the idea of one-off volunteer experiences, in case you can't commit to a set schedule.
I am currently writing a volunteer manual for libraries, and I'm so excited to put all of my knowledge on paper. It's a subject I'm passionate about, and I love that I can put it all out there and help other libraries, and honestly - any other organization, form their own quality volunteer program. I'm just getting to the meat of the book so I have a lot of work to do, but Memphis has a wonderful volunteer scene, so I have a list of people to interview to really flesh out this manual.
Have you volunteered before? What did you do? What would you like to do as a volunteer if you could do anything, anywhere?