T Nation

Volunteering Ideas?


Hey, now that I have a bit more time on my hands than I used to, I'm considering volunteering some of it. However, I'm not sure what I'd like to do.

Any ideas?

I want to do something I "enjoy", so that eliminates some things. For example, spending time with the aged would just make me sad. While I realize it is a good cause, I don't want to do something that makes me sad and introspective all the time.

I'm not against travelling for short periods of time, but I am not willing to spend months at a time in a third world country or anything like that either. I'd have to cut loose a lot more ties before I could consider something like that.

What do some of you do, or what would you do if you had the time?


Tutoring at your local university or high school is always good.


Before I got married a couple of my housemates worked at a childrens home for problem kids. One of them was a counselor and one was the gym teacher.

I used to volunteer there mostly playing sports with the kids. It was fun and I think it helped the kids. They need positive male role models.

Now my own kids are more than I can handle.


If you're in a rural area and feel adventurous contact your local VFD.


animal shelter.


That's an awesome idea!
Be a male role model for kids.

Sports, big brother, teaching, etc.

I know I would have appreciated a good one when I was a kid. My dad wasn't all that helpful.


Habitat for Humanities


Animal shelter.

It's hard work, pretty unrewarding, and it can be downright unsanitary.

But I love them damn cats and dogs. :slightly_smiling:


I work with troubled adolescents for my career and the one main thing I see lacking most is a positive role model in their life. I can't think of anything much better than being a "big brother". Let us know what you decide and keep us posted.


I agree with those who suggest to spend your time with children - if you don't have any of your own. Otherwise, you probably wouldn't be volunteering in the first place but instead be more active in their lives.

I used to read to little kids in the waiting room at a pediatrician's clinic. It was part of a program to instill love of reading in children. They were anywhere from newborn to some about 10 years old. Had a lot of fun myself, and I know the kids did too.

Speaking in different voices for the characters in the books, that was the bomb. So too when I'd see the kids learning - like toddlers who would repeat the words I'd read, or older children who would read to me while I'd help them sound out the words. It's a great thing to be a part of.


I'm a volunteer mediator.

You're right to want to do something that you will enjoy. So, what do you like doing? How can you share your enthusiasms w/ others?

Since you obviously enjoy working out, is there someplace that needs volunteer coaches? Young people certainly need to learn how to exercise and work out. Also, even though you said you weren't interested in working w/ the elderly because it would be depressing, would it be cool to work with a program helping seniors get stronger? Then, maybe it wouldn't be depressing. Get Granny lifting and maybe she won't fall and break her hip.

But, really, whatever it is you know and others can benefit from is what you should do.

Martha - Mediators do it until everyone is satisfied.


I believe you work with computers?

If so, you could contact local charities, youth organizations, etc. and see if they need any help on the IT side.

I've done that a few times (through referals from people who knew me, not by calling up and asking though...) but I'm sure some would be interested.


Second this. I don't know about Ontario, but there are many opportunities to get involved with helping kids, particularly in after-school and weekend programs. Tutoring can be very helpful, as can the big-brother programs. Even coaching can be good here.


How about going to the cancer center at the local childrens hospital and teach them Chess or read some comics... those little guys are survivors.