Volunteering: How to get involved

When you think of getting your volunteer hours, you may be filled with dread at the thought of spending hours working on a project that is of little interest to you.

On top of all that, finding time to fit in volunteer work into your busy schedule can be quite challenging,.

Despite what you might think, there are interesting and fun ways to get volunteer hours that don’t involve tedious manual labor.

Many new organizations are trying to develop a better way of volunteering that makes volunteer projects more meaningful. Additionally, there are many more ways to volunteer than you might think.   

Get involved in Palo Alto

One organization that promotes meaningful volunteering is Get Involved Palo Alto. Their mission is to not only make volunteering enjoyable, but to make it a learning opportunity that supports real world skills.

“What I discovered in 10 years of working in Palo Alto is there are many organizations, and it’s hard to find something that interests you,” said Christina Owen, Founder of Get Involved. “Get Involved curates volunteer opportunities so you can find and pursue what you are interested in more easily.”

So far, Get Involved has had over 80 students and has partnered with over 100 local volunteer organizations.

Palo Alto Animal Services

Another great volunteer opportunity is suited to pet lovers. Many animal shelters are always seeking help caring for the animals they house. Places including Palo Alto Animal Services accept high school volunteers over the age of 16. If you love pets, this might be the best way to get your hours done and have fun doing it.

Most of the positions offered would allow for volunteers to care for all different kinds of pets. Jobs could include walking, playing with, or feeding the animals which would be a great way to have a part-time pet if you don’t already have one.

Sign up to be a Tutor at Paly’s ARC

Although you might not have heard about it, Paly’s Academic Resource Center (ARC) along with offering free tutoring, also provides volunteer hours to students willing to tutor.

This can be a great way to volunteer as well as sharpen up your skills in many subjects. There are no minimum hours, and you can choose whichever day of the week works best for you.

Use a volunteer website to find the best match

Sometimes the best way to find a volunteer opportunity you’ll enjoy is by using a site designed to do so.

VolunteerMatch.org has a huge selection of categories and interests that make it easy to find something that you will enjoy doing. Searching on a volunteer website like this one will broaden your possibility for a close and fun opportunity.

Online Volunteering

Yes, there actually is a way to volunteer online. Using a volunteer website like volunteer match, you can select either volunteering at a physical location or online.

Volunteering online is a bit more restrictive because many of the opportunities consist of teaching or writing something that usually requires lots of experience.

There are a few opportunities for high school students that range from helping educational institutions gather information, to web development and graphic art creation.

Volunteering doesn’t have to be boring; it can be a valuable experience and also a fun one. If you pursue your interests and find the right opportunity, volunteering doesn’t need to be that hard.