While I was on the Cabot Cruise (each year, Cabot Coop takes about 45 volunteers on a cruise as a â€˜thank youâ€™ â€“ I went because of my work with Operation Beautiful and as the cruiseâ€™s Social Media Correspondent), my #1 question for the volunteers was, â€œHow did you find your volunteering gig?â€ The answers were as varied as the volunteers themselves.Â Some people did their work because itâ€™s how their parents volunteered; others stumbled into the positions through personal tragedy.Â But many of the volunteers found their perfect opportunities the old fashioned wayâ€¦ online!
Here areÂ four awesome websites â€“ plus one stellar app â€“ that can help YOU find your perfect volunteering opportunity. Heck, maybe youâ€™ll end up on the Cabot Cruise next year!
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.Â Find volunteer opportunities via Volunteer Match.
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.Â 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.Â Become a Lion and start making a difference in your community.
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.Â 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.
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.Â Find volunteer opportunities via Points of Lightâ€™s search widget.
And last, but certainly not least, I wanted to tell you about Cabotâ€™s amazing iPhone app and online widget â€“ Reward Volunteers.
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 programâ€™s inception in February 2012, more than 20,000 acts of kindness have been registered.Â (Source)
Hereâ€™s a video that explains how the app works:
And here are some screenshots of the appâ€¦ It easily integrates with Facebook, so you can share updates about how youâ€™re volunteering (and hopefully entice your friends to volunteer, too!).
But my favorite part of the app is how you can scroll through and see how other people are volunteering their time.Â Very inspiring!
Why bother to use the Reward Volunteers app?Â 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.Â The 1200 farm families that own Cabot Coop really believe in encouraging volunteerism and wants to â€“ just like the appâ€™s name says! â€“ reward volunteers.Â 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 yearâ€™s supply of coffee, shoes, and (of course) lots of yummy Cabot cheese.Â And to enter to win, all you have to do is log your volunteerism.
Side note:Â Remember the Powerful, Beautiful T-Shirts?Â A few of my blog friends sold the shirts on their blogs.Â 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.Â You can read more about LEAP in this post.
Well, thanks to your VERY AWESOME SUPPORT, we raised $1106.07 for LEAP.Â Hereâ€™s one of the founders, Pat Grover, happily holding the check!Â Trust me â€“ Pat will put this money to very, very good use.
No matter how you volunteer, I hope you know that you are appreciated by so many â€“ including myself!Â Thank you for giving your time to others.
Where do you volunteer, and how did you find that opportunity?Â Â My longest-running volunteering gig was with Girls on the Run; I was a coach for two and a half years.Â I ended up volunteering with GOTR because I lived just a few blocks from headquarters â€“ it seemed like destiny!