Ideas for volunteering
(Help develop this page by adding your own good ideas or good ideas you've found from somewhere else.)
Originally inspired by this post, the purpose of this page is to collect good ideas for volunteering and/or contributing to good causes.
From original post
I propose a sticky with loads of good ideas presented that other organizations might list. Ekklesia happens to be a ministry, but they've got a pretty inspiring and innovative list of volunteer-type activities. Anyone else know of any other lists? http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/lifestyle --Jason Torpy
Let's get this thread going!
I've been thinking about starting some kind of group at my college, so some of these ideas are geared towards taking place on campus by a handful of students. You can also find lists on www.charityguide.org and http://timebank.org.uk. You also might find something at www.volunteermatch.org.
Ideas for making money to support larger non-profit organizations:
- Buy bulk atheist merchandise like bumperstickers and decals and sell them at an increased rate with all proceeds for charity
- Make/buy and sell secular winter solstice greeting cards
- Organize a bake sale
- Have a raffle
- Have a tasting event ("Parties can be organized to taste wine, homemade cakes, etc. Friends and local businesses can donate items to be tasted (a very low-cost way to advertise for commercial donors). A small entrance fee to the tasting can be charge and the guests can be asked to vote for the product they like the best. A donated prize/plaque/ribbon can be awards to the winner(s).)
- Have a film festival of atheism-related documentaries, charge an entrance fee
- Arrange for an atheist speaker/writer/etc. to speak somewhere in your town and charge admission
Things to do with your time and/or money:
- Fund field trips to science museums for afterschool programs
- Donate freethought books to high school libraries that would not otherwise carry them
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter (also for the homeless: donate meals, donate hygiene kits with combs, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, etc., donate bicycles...)
- Have a food drive (One idea for a food drive that I read about: "Instead of just placing out boxes, talk to a charity, such as www.secondharvest.org, and find out exactly what they need (i.e. soup, peanut butter, bread). Then, make out a flyer listing these items and attach those flyers to grocery bags. Give these bags to your friends and neighbors. Explain the drive and why you are collecting, and tell them you'll be back in a week to pick up the filled bag."
- Organize a clothing donation drive
- Have your group register to be organ donors
- Volunteer to walk dogs at a no-kill animal shelter ("Volunteer dog walkers provide the daily exercise, affection, and socialization that confined dogs need to stay healthy, happy, and adoptable." Note: The animal shelters near me all require you to take a free 1-hour class on how to handle dogs before you can start walking them.)
- Be a baby cuddler ("As a volunteer baby cuddler, you would be specially trained to handle, hold, rock, and pat hospitalized babies. You would provide a foundation of care as you hold and soothe newborns and preemies. The training is free and available at most hospitals. Tuberculosis tests and background checks are usually mandatory. To get started, call your local hospital or long-term childcare facility and ask to speak with a volunteer coordinator."
- "Adopt"/sponsor an animal at a zoo or wildlife park
- Donate to the charity of your choice at websites like www.pincgiving.com and www.justgiving.com where you can choose a certain charity or even set up your own. (I know I've seen on some study that people donate more money online than they do in person)
- Help others learn to read. (I know my local library accepts volunteers for their programs for both children and illiterate adults.)
- If you live in an area with natural disasters, train in advance to work at a shelter. (I trained with the red cross over the summer a few years back to work at a hurricane shelter and it was a really fulfilling experience. Plus, you get to carry around a your shelter work card which states that you're an official "Master of Disaster." I love that.)