When you assist someone who needs help, you are volunteering your time. When you play in a band, you are volunteering your time. If ever you are new to a geographical area or are interested in learning a skill to broaden your life, you might want to consider volunteering you time. Becoming a volunteer is one of the best ways to be active in your community with the added benefit of feeling great about giving back.
Towards the end of my stint on unemployment I found myself wanting to branch out and entertain the idea of attempting a completely different career path. But, how would I do that and what entity would give me the time of day with no experience? I considered professions, dream jobs that would fulfill me. Be an astronaut! Work with animals at the zoo! Be a DJ at a radio station! Then, I delved into researching how I could break into these fields. Turns out two of the three options I listed above were available to me (guess which ones) through my community as long as I had the time to devote, which being on the government cheese made me the perfect candidate to do so. I chose to help out around Hollow Earth Radio, an internet-live streaming radio station located on Union St. I cleaned and organized the station, wrote record reviews all the while meeting touring bands that would play live in-studios, making new friends and shadowing a station manager to become a DJ myself. In the end, I happily invested almost 60 hours of my time, received a free education, networked liked crazy (even though I had no idea that’s what it was at the time) and I run my own radio show!
Think about it. What are your passions? Do you like to ride a bike and want to get into the field of bike mechanic or just understand the intricacies the machine? More often than not, your local bike shop may have free workshops or accept volunteers to assist the biking community (The Bikery, S. Main St.). Is your Holiday tradition to feed your community? Why not this year contact your local Food Not Bombs chapter and ask if you can help with a community food sharing? I guarantee you, they can always use an extra hand. Did I raise your interest in working with animals? You can live that dream, too by contacting the Woodland Park Zoo.
Bottom line: If you want to meet new people, volunteer. If you are interested in a new line of work, volunteer. If you have a skill that could benefit your community, volunteer. If you want to be involved, volunteer. The simplest and most satisfying of gift giving is compassion. The Beatles said it best, “In the end the love you take, Is equal to the love you make.”