community wellness

According to Oregon Health News Oregonians are at the top of the list for volunteering. Over 40% of all Oregonians Volunteer. Make a difference in your community and create a healthier attitude, live longer and help Oregon families in your community. Wellness begins with service to others.

The Top 10 Ways to Volunteer in Your Community

Volunteering is a great way to make a positive impact in your community, and it really does make you feel good. Many people don't volunteer because they don't where to go and how to offer their help. In this article, we will discuss 15 ways to volunteer in your community. Why you should volunteer. Have you ever heard the saying , "It takes a village to raise a child"? This is a very true statement, and can applied to many situations. For example, it takes many people to put together a food drive, or a baseball team, or a church function. One person can not do all the work, but one person CAN make a big difference! You may not think that your time will help others, but it will. Here is how to volunteer in your community.

Volunteer at the hospital:

Help is always needed at the hospital, and the tasks that you will be asked to do can vary greatly. You may sit at a reception desk and greet people, or you may be asked to deliver flowers to patient rooms. Every hospital is different, but they all welcome volunteers.

Volunteer at school:

As we all know, teachers are NOT paid what they are worth, and the schools are often understaffed. Volunteers are always needed at the schools, and it is one of my favorite places to volunteer. You are given fun tasks like reading to children, assisting on field trips, preparing bulletin boards, or simply helping the teacher. You will have to undergo a background check before you can volunteer at the school, but this is a good thing because it keeps criminals and predators away from out children.

Volunteer at the soup kitchen:

There are several ways to volunteer in your community through the local soup kitchen. You can either donate food items, pick up donated food, serve food, prepare food, or even offer administrative assistance. As I said before, it takes a lot of people to put something as important as a soup kitchen together, so the more people that help, the better service can be provided to those in need.

Volunteer as a mentor:

Sadly, not every child has the perfect home life. There are young boys and girls that have only one parent, live with their grandparents, or even with foster families. You can volunteer as a mentor and make an amazing difference in the life of a child. Organizations such as Big Brother or Big Sister, or even the Boys and Girls Club are excellent ways to volunteer as a mentor. Again, you will have to undergo a background check before you can volunteer as a mentor, however, it's all to keep the children safe.

Volunteer at church:

Most churches don't turn a profit, so they rely heavily on volunteers. You can volunteer at church by offering to work in the day care room, teach a Sunday school class, organize a church function, clean the church, and much more. To find out how exactly what type of volunteer work is needed, contact an official of the church and speak with them.

Volunteer to deliver meals:

Most communities sponsor a "Meals on Wheels" service, which is where volunteers are needed to deliver meals to the elderly. If you're interested in learning how to volunteer in your community, this is a very rewarding way to help. Not only do you deliver a hot meal, but you are offering the warmth of companionship to elderly people that are sometimes very lonely individuals.

Volunteer for hospice:

Volunteering for hospice is not for everyone, as it can be an emotionally draining experience. However, if you elect to volunteer for hospice, you may be the one person that the family of a patient comes to rely on. Things you may be asked to do include visiting patients or family, offering childcare, running to the grocery store, and so on. You will basically be doing simple tasks that wouldn't get done otherwise. Volunteers for hospice are typically only needed for patients that receive Medicare and Medicaid, as a minimum of 5% of patient care hours must be provided by volunteers.

Volunteer at Coats for Kids:

The goal of Coats for Kids is, "The ensure that every child who needs a winter coat receives one." If your community does not already participate in the Coats for Kids Foundation, then YOU can get it started. Remember, one person can make a difference! To find out more about this wonderful organization, visit www.coats-for-kids.org and learn how to volunteer in your community.

Volunteer at the animal shelter:

Being around animals lowers blood pressure, stress levels, and just makes people feel good. If you're looking for a way to volunteer in your community, and you are an animal lover, check into what it takes to volunteer at the animal shelter. They are always looking for people to walk dogs, feed the animals, clean up after the animals, and help the animals find new homes.

Volunteer to foster a pet:

Many communities need volunteers to foster a pet. I live in a military town, and we are always in need of people to take in pets of Marines that are being sent overseas. Instead of having to send their beloved pets to the pound, these Marines just need someone to take in their animals until they return. This is a rewarding way to volunteer in your community, even if you do not live in a military town.

Volunteer to adopt a highway:

Each state is different, so check with the local DOT to see what is required in your area to adopt a highway. Typically, though, volunteers are asked to do things like plant flowers or trees, or remove litter from the adopted highway.

Volunteer at a community garden:

Community gardens are tended to by groups of people within a community. They can have a multitude of benefits, such as offer bounties of fresh produce, but they are also a great way to meet new people. If your community does not have a community garden, why not start one yourself? Remember....it only takes one person! To learn more about how to start a community garden, visit the website for the American Community Garden Association (

Now that you know the various ways to volunteer in your community, get going! Volunteering is a great way to feel good about yourself, release stress, and help others in the process. Once you see how rewarding it is to volunteer in your community, you may have a hard time deciding where to stop. Good Luck!