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While I was on the Cabot Cruise (each year, Cabot Coop takes about 45 volunteers on a cruise as a ‘thank you’ – I went because of my work with Operation Beautiful and as the cruise’s Social Media Correspondent), my #1 question for the volunteers was, “How did you find your volunteering gig?” The answers were as varied as the volunteers themselves.  Some people did their work because it’s how their parents volunteered; others stumbled into the positions through personal tragedy.  But many of the volunteers found their perfect opportunities the old fashioned way… online! Smile

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You can read more about each of the Cabot Coop Community Celebrities right here.

Here are  four awesome websites – plus one stellar app – that can help YOU find your perfect volunteering opportunity. Heck, maybe you’ll end up on the Cabot Cruise next year!

Volunteer Match

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Why Join Volunteer Match? Connect with a cause that needs you. We have 90,000+ nonprofits around the world who need your help. Uncover new volunteer opportunities that matter to you, wherever you are.  Find volunteer opportunities via Volunteer Match.

 

Lions Club International

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Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world. Our 1.35 million members – who perform community service in 208 countries and geographic areas – are different in many ways, but share a core belief: community is what we make it.  When you join Lions, you join a global service network. So, at the same time you’re doing local community service, you can also contribute to Lions volunteer efforts around the world.  Become a Lion and start making a difference in your community.

 

Create The Good

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Together we can make a difference. It only takes one person to help change your world. You have the power to use your skills to do good anywhere, anytime. And you can start here.  We have over 7,000+ volunteer opportunities available on our network, and over 467,204 people have joined the movement. Click here to find opportunities with Create The Good.

Points of Light

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Every day, people of all ages, races, ethnicities and faiths step up to tackle problems in their communities and around the world. Points of Light connects people to their power to make a meaningful difference by providing access to tools, resources and opportunities to volunteer. In 2011, 4.3 million volunteers and 77,052 partners in 20 countries around the globe were mobilized through Points of Light.  Find volunteer opportunities via Points of Light’s search widget.

 

And last, but certainly not least, I wanted to tell you about Cabot’s amazing iPhone app and online widget – Reward Volunteers.

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The revolutionary Reward Volunteers 4.0 iPhone App and web widget from Cabot Creamery Cooperative enables individuals and organizations to track the time they spend volunteering in their communities. At the end of each month, Cabot rewards them for their hard work, and for inspiring friends and family to do the same, with a variety of prizes. Since the program’s inception in February 2012, more than 20,000 acts of kindness have been registered.  (Source)

 

Here’s a video that explains how the app works:

And here are some screenshots of the app… It easily integrates with Facebook, so you can share updates about how you’re volunteering (and hopefully entice your friends to volunteer, too!).

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But my favorite part of the app is how you can scroll through and see how other people are volunteering their time.  Very inspiring!

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Why bother to use the Reward Volunteers app?  Well, not only is it a fun way to keep track of your volunteering hours, but you can also win prizes for yourself and your favorite volunteering organization.  The 1200 farm families that own Cabot Coop really believe in encouraging volunteerism and wants to – just like the app’s name says! – reward volunteers.  The prizes refresh every few months, but right now, Cabot is giving away thousands of dollars in cash prizes for individuals and organizations, including Grand Prizes of $5,000 for one non-profit and $1,500 for one individual, as well as weekend getaways, farm vacations, ski vacations, grocery gift cards, Keurig coffee machines with a year’s supply of coffee, shoes, and (of course) lots of yummy Cabot cheese.  And to enter to win, all you have to do is log your volunteerism.

 

Side note:  Remember the Powerful, Beautiful T-Shirts?  A few of my blog friends sold the shirts on their blogs.  100% of the profits from the shirt sales were to be donated directly to LEAP, which stands for Ladies Empowerment and Action Program. LEAP is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization offering an innovative re-entry inside prison and post release support program.  You can read more about LEAP in this post.

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Well, thanks to your VERY AWESOME SUPPORT, we raised $1106.07 for LEAP.  Here’s one of the founders, Pat Grover, happily holding the check!  Trust me – Pat will put this money to very, very good use.

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No matter how you volunteer, I hope you know that you are appreciated by so many – including myself!  Thank you for giving your time to others.

 

Where do you volunteer, and how did you find that opportunity?   My longest-running volunteering gig was with Girls on the Run; I was a coach for two and a half years.  I ended up volunteering with GOTR because I lived just a few blocks from headquarters – it seemed like destiny!

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Leave a Comment

  • Alison February 4, 2014, 8:04 am

    These are really good resources! It’s great to encourage other to volunteer, but I have to ask – plateshare.org is where you round up your dinner bill for a donation, right? Does that really take an hour?

    Reply
    • Caitlin February 4, 2014, 8:16 am

      I’m on the Board of Directors and do some behind the scenes work!

      Reply
  • Traci February 4, 2014, 8:24 am

    I’d like to share an awesome website that is all about inspiring volunteering: http://volunteerweekly.org. Volunteer Weekly features volunteering resources and stories. Check it out!

    Reply
  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } February 4, 2014, 8:31 am

    I volunteered at our Ronald Mcdonald house for a while and at an elementary teaching a ‘science academy’ on the weekend to high risk kids. I loved both! Would love to work with animals but I know I’d take them all home :)

    Reply
  • Rebecca February 4, 2014, 10:04 am

    That App might have been helpful when I was in junior high and was required to do community and church service for Confirmation! Could’ve used it to keep track of my hours AND have another incentive besides just that it was required to be confirmed… Except I didn’t have an iPhone (still don’t), or even a cell phone yet. Lol.
    I mostly just volunteer at church right now, and I’m there a lot. Seems like every weekend. I enjoy it, but it gets to be a bit much sometimes and I like getting a break now and then. I also take my grandma on errands sometimes, but that’s not with an organization, hah.

    Reply
  • Sara February 4, 2014, 10:08 am

    How did I miss this shirt?? Bring it back! Love it ❤️

    Reply
  • Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake February 4, 2014, 10:35 am

    How cool!

    Reply
  • Kelli February 4, 2014, 10:48 am

    I would love to volunteer at a animal shelter just don’t know if I’m strong enough to see the doggies every day :-(

    Reply
  • Avery February 4, 2014, 6:22 pm

    Thanks to you and your blog, I recently signed up to coach GOTR in Silicon Valley! It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, but never got around to it until now. I couldn’t be more excited to help girls get into running and live healthy lifestyles. Thank you :)

    Reply