It’s summer, which means lots of free time and fun. What if your “off” time could serve a bigger purpose? Here’s five ideas to help you make it happen.
1) Clean out your closet – While you’re at it, clean out the garage, the kitchen drawers and cabinets, your spare bedroom, anywhere around your house. Determine what can be donated, recycled or trashed. Donate your items to a non-profit. We take everything from furniture to clothing, as long as it is in good shape.
2) Lemonade Stand – If your kids want to have a lemonade stand this year, consider donating the proceeds (or a portion of the proceeds) to charity. It will make the experience more meaningful and it will help you teach your children about helping others.
3) Car Wash – With a similar idea as the lemonade stand, gather a group together for a car wash benefiting your favorite charity. (Be sure to check with the charity prior to your event on guidelines and helpful tips.)
4) Mentor/teach – Many non-profits have extra activities planned for the summer. Usually they are looking for more help. At The Settlement Home, we need volunteers to teach fun summer classes for our kids. This is a great way to use your time and talents to help others.
5) Volunteer – Like number #4, what talents do you have that could be put to good use? Non-profits usually have several events going on throughout the summer. Big organizations may have several. Find something that interests you, from volunteering at a 5K for charity, helping in a food pantry, delivering foods and items for the elderly.
The first step is to research organizations. Who has a mission you support? Who is located close to you so that you can get there on time for volunteer shifts? Which organization’s events seem like things you would be interested in helping run? Invest a little time to research, then set up an appointment with a volunteer coordinator to talk about opportunities and take a tour of the facility.
Once you’ve found an organization that fits you, go for it! Recruit friends, family and co-workers and spend your summer helping others.