Benevolence – A Series About Giving

Coming into the new year I made a decision to do one volunteer opportunity each month in a different area of need. But seriously, do you have any idea how hard it is to find volunteer opportunities? It was like a full time job: researching, calling, sending emails, filling out requests, waiting for replies, following up, taking applications to the office, and so on…

With this new series, I hope to share information with others in the area about upcoming volunteer events and charity drives, feature organizations that need our help and also document my experience with the volunteer opportunities that I try.

So let’s start with the basics…

First, you have to determine what issues you’d like to contribute to. There are so many specific areas in need so here are a few to get started:

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Youth & Children,Disabled
Health & Wellness, Adult Education
Animals, Environment/Community
Disaster Relief, Family Services
Hunger, Homelessness & Housing
Seniors,Veterans & Military Familes

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After you choose the cause, you can move on to applying for volunteer opportunities through local or global communities. This is the tricky part that becomes quite time consuming and getting in touch with the coordinators is sometimes not as easy as it should be. Over the next couple weeks I will help break down the process and feature some of the best sites for finding volunteer opportunities.

In the meantime, here are a couple of the best places to search on your own, in the Columbus area:

  • VolunteerMatch has a nice advanced search feature to find specifically what you are looking to do and when you are available.
  • HandsOn Central Ohio is a great resource for all things giving.
  • United Way of Central Ohio  has several options for volunteering time and money.
  • BESA matches people’s passions with the organizations that could use their talents.

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BESA: Before You Give.