• Shazia Peeran

Top 5 Ways to Volunteer During the Fall


Fall is finally here, which means cooler temperatures, shorter days, and all of the wonders that the season brings with it. Fall is a season of change. What better time to volunteer to change the life of those in your community?


What volunteering teaches you

While volunteering is all about helping others, that’s not to say that the act doesn’t teach you some things along the way. Whether you’re volunteering virtually, in your local community, or abroad, there’s plenty to learn from such as a selfless act.


Gratitude

One of the biggest lessons you’ll take away from volunteering is a profound sense of gratitude. You will have a much deeper appreciation for everything you have in life.

In a world where so many people focus on what they don’t have versus what they do have, volunteering helps people to rebalance and refocus their priorities.

Volunteering serves as a stark reminder of what really matters in life, such as friends, family, health, and happiness.


Small actions can have a big impact

Picking up trash or donating old clothes that you no longer wear may not seem like much. However, the smallest acts often have the biggest impacts, even if you don’t realize them.

Think of it this way: picking up trash beautifies a community while keeping wildlife safe. Donating clothes means that someone has clothes to keep them warm and comfortable.

As a volunteer, you’ll learn that simple actions can (and do) have a big impact. Check out GivingBackEasily.com to see available opportunities.


Everyone has a worthwhile story

Volunteering quickly teaches you that everyone has a story. No two lives are the same. Everyone has a background as to who they are and how they’ve made it to where they are in life.

Listening to stories outside of your own bubble is very eye-opening. These stories will make you respect and appreciate the struggles of others. Hearing these stories makes volunteering extremely fulfilling.


How volunteering benefits students

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding and selfless things that you can do. Helping others not only allows you to do your part in bettering your community, but volunteering can also benefit you as well.

For example, volunteering will help you to gain confidence and a sense of self-worth. Trying something new and achieving a goal provides a real sense of achievement. Nothing feels better than knowing you did something that benefited someone else.

Volunteering also benefits in students in that it:

  • Enables you to make a difference

  • Gives you a voice and purpose in your community

  • Can teach new skills

  • Allows you to take on a challenge

As a volunteer, you’ll feel more confident in your actions, especially as you see first-hand how they impact the lives of others. Find a cause and opportunity that appeals to you, and you’ll find that volunteering can actually be quite fun.


Why volunteering is good for your mental health

Doing your part to help others is good for your mental health. It's well known that doing good makes you feel good. This is known as the “helper's high,” which describes the uplifting feeling that you experience after doing a good deed or an act of kindness.

Helper’s high has shown to prolong calmness while also reducing stress and anxiety.

Volunteering is also good for your mental health in that it is rewarding and increases self-worth. You feel much more valuable when you’re able to do something for someone else. Being a volunteer improves life satisfaction, boosts social connection, and even offers a sense of belonging.

Whether you donate your time, money, or show generosity in some other way, volunteering makes you feel validated.


Charities in your area

Want to volunteer this season but unsure where to start? Here are some charities in your local community to consider volunteering at.

Manhattan, NY

  • Smile Train

  • Big Apple Greeter

  • Modest Needs Foundation

  • SPCA International

  • High Atlas Foundation

Jersey City, NJ

  • Backpacks for Life

  • Hudson Pride Center

  • Liberty Humane Society

  • Boys + Girls Clubs of Hudson County

Hoboken, NJ

  • HCCC Food Pantry

  • Dress for Success Hudson County


Bronx, NY

  • BronxWorks

  • Zaenahs Blanket Foundation

  • Mercy Center Inc.

  • Barrier Free Living Holding

  • Homebase – Catholic Charities Bronx II

Brooklyn, NY

  • Little Essentials

  • CAMBA

  • Brooklyn Animal Action

  • The Hope Program

  • Grow NYC

Palo Alto, CA

  • Racing Hearts

  • Ecumenical Hunger Program

  • The Family Giving Tree

  • MO4PAWS

  • TeachAids

Evansville, IL

  • United Caring Shelters

  • Borrowed Hearts Foundation

  • Youth First

  • Hollys House

  • Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center

No matter where you live, there’s sure to be a cause that you want to get involved in. Volunteering not only benefits you, but those around you as well.