Part two is here, go volunteer! See what I did there?? Volunteering is SUCH a great way to get involved, especially if you aren’t in a position to donate money or are looking for something more tangible. Plus there are just so many opportunities out there for volunteering that it can almost become overwhelming. Here are a few tips for narrowing it down and finding the right opportunity for you (see part one here):
- State Farm recently put out this website called Neighborhood of Good where you can simply put in your zip code, select the types of things you are interested in and it will bring up a big list of volunteer opportunities that just take a couple of quick clicks to sign up for. I recently signed up for Rise and Shine at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter next week which is a chance to prepare a hot breakfast for residents who are working toward economic independence via Chicago Cares.
- Find something in your area that speaks to you by just keeping your eyes open and not being afraid to reach out! I watched a special on MSNBC a couple months back and saw one young man speaking from an organization in Chicago called My Block My Hood My City and was struck by what he was doing. I googled the organization, sent a quick note, and now we are in the process of figuring out how I can offer yoga as part of the organizations outings for young people.
- Become an Ambassador – Many organizations or local businesses are looking for community members to spread the word about what they do and may even offer something free in exchange. For example Breathe Bar in Chicago’s West Loop recently opened and I became an ambassador. I get to spread the word about how important mindfulness, community, and connection are and in exchange I’ve already started expanding my network.