One easy way to expand your knowledge and help the community, is to volunteer. If you’re not from the Fargo/Moorhead area, you may be wondering where to get started. Who do I contact? Where do I look? What opportunities are out there?
There are so many wonderful organizations in the area that are looking for volunteers. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Know what you want to get out of it.
A central component of volunteering is that you are doing something that benefits others. However, many of us want to get something out of volunteering. It might be hands-on experience, connections with others, wanting to help with a major issue in your community, or learning more about a certain cause. Knowing what you want to get out of volunteering will push you toward certain organizations and opportunities. If you are someone who is passionate about animals, you might want to help with 4 Luv of Dog Rescue by walking dogs, playing with them, and even fostering them!
Know what you can commit to.
College is busy! Before beginning your volunteer search, be honest with yourself on how much time you can commit. With so many awesome volunteer opportunities out there, it can be easy to overcommit. Many places will outline how many hours they need someone or when they are looking for volunteers, so it is beneficial to know how many hours you are willing to give. Churches United for the Homeless looks for volunteers to serve meals, sort clothing, visit with guests and so much more. Churches United looks for volunteers to commit five hours per month, which is tangible for students with busy schedules.
Know what’s out there.
Sometimes the easiest thing is to poke around and see what you like and dislike. An easy way to start is to look at what you want in a career and outline the characteristics you look for.
This makes it easier to search for volunteer opportunities that lie with characteristics that appeal to you. If you’re looking for an organization that focuses on eliminating racism and empowering women, look no further than the YWCA. Volunteers can work with families transitioning into shelters, help women gain confidence through career searches, socialize with families and more.
Lean on others to hear about their volunteer experiences. Ask a friend, a professor, or someone you look up to. See how they got involved, when, where, and how often. Immersing yourself in their network will open more doors for you. They also might let you tag along.