1. Volunteer with Animals
Volunteer at The Humane Society of the United States! “The nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization” helps “animals by advocating for better laws to protect animals; conducting campaigns to reform industries; providing animal rescue and emergency response; investigating cases of animal cruelty; and caring for animals through our sanctuaries and wildlife rehabilitation centers, emergency shelters and clinics.”
2. Help out by tutoring kids, supervising outdoor activities, and giving them the encouragement they need.
Volunteer with Save the Children,”the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world.”
3. Spend time with people in assisted living, nursing homes, and hospice.
Volunteering at hospice centers can include support for patients, child care assistance, respite and support for family members, bereavement support programs, and fund-raising/administrative work.
4. Help save the environment by participating in neighborhood trash pick ups, tree planting, and composting.
New York Cares is a great organization with many sister “Care organizations” around the country. They do many types of service, including a park and garden clean up in April. Join your community for a clean-up day!
5. Volunteer assisting people with illnesses, physical, and mental disabilities.
Volunteer with Autism Speaks, whose goal “is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.” They work to fund “global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism…strive to raise public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society…work to bring hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.”
6. Take a stand on something you believe in.
“Greenpeace is the largest independent direct-action environmental organization in the world” working to defend nature, promote peace by ending environmental abuse, and champion “environmentally responsible solutions”.
7. Comfort the homeless (like this pooch) by spending time in a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen.
Volunteer at a Food Bank (most regions have one) to help relieve hunger and provide support to people in need.
8. Support and participate in the arts. Maybe not as the canvas.
Check out Americans for the Arts, whose mission is “to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.”