Volunteers are a positive force in our communities, creating change for the better, and providing those who participate with a great way to meet people from all walks of life, and connect in meaningful ways.
Firstly, before committing to volunteering, you should consider your personality and how you want to help. Are you an outgoing person who enjoys lots of people contact, or do you prefer to work behind the scenes? Also consider what kinds of activities you enjoy, and reflect on which causes in the community you feel the most strongly about.
Secondly, it’s important to think about how much time you have to give. Some volunteering opportunities involve as little time as one hour a week. Other opportunities can fit easily into your lifestyle as they provide the flexibility to work in your own time at your own pace, while others require a greater time commitment and responsibility, requiring you to turn up regularly at a certain place, at a certain time.
To get an idea of the types of volunteering currently available, a good place to look is at Volunteering New Zealand, an organisation who works with more than 200 non-profit groups who regularly require assistance. You can browse through all the latest volunteering positions and register your interest www.volunteeringauckland.org.nz, or find out more by calling the Auckland branch directly on 09 377 7887.
Alternatively, if there is a particular group you already know you want to help, you can call them or visit them directly, and ask how you can get involved. Local schools, youth organisations, church, animal welfare, community, and conservation groups, are always keen to garner extra support.
If you find yourself doubting your abilities and what you have to offer, don’t give it a second thought, as most organisations provide all the training and direction you’ll need to do the tasks required, whether it’s in a learn-as-you-go environment, or more formal training.
There’s also many ways you can help without leaving the comfort of your home. Little Sprouts (www.littlesproutsnz.org) is an excellent example of a little-known organisation making a massive impact by
donating large boxes of baby gear to New Zealand’s most vulnerable families. These families include young parents coping without adequate support networks, parents who have escaped from domestic
violence, families coping with illnesses, refugees new to New Zealand, and those who are caught in a cycle of poverty, to name a few.
Little Sprouts Crafters assist by helping keep vulnerable babies warmer and safer by sewing, knitting or crocheting baby clothes and care items. Peggy squares for baby blankets can be sent to ‘Little Squares for Little Sprouts’, c/- Barbara Southern, 27 Paenui Street, Titahi Bay, Porirua 5022. Or if you have spare time and the necessary skills other highly sought-after items are required such as cardigans, vests, singlets, hats, socks, and bootees, along with sewn items such as quilts, cot sheets, burp cloths, baby towels, and nightgowns.
For more information on sizes and other requirements visit www.littlesproutsnz.org/about-crafting and consider joining the LittleSproutsCraftAngels group on Facebook.
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