5 ways to take part in International Volunteer Day


\"\"On Sunday, December 5, 2010, people from all around the world will gather together to celebrate International Volunteer Day (IVD). What will you be doing?

There are plenty of volunteer activities for you and your family and friends to take part in to support International Volunteer Day. Here are five of our favorite volunteer ideas.

Volunteer to Help in Your Community

One of the best ways to take part in International Volunteer Day is by volunteering in your local community. Most neighborhoods have non-profit organizations – environmentally focused or not – that would benefit from your support and assistance.

However, if you aren’t sure where to start, the World Volunteer Web offers a list of organizations where you might want to volunteer.  There are other organizations which offer volunteer opportunities as well. You can find an opportunity to volunteer online at UN Volunteers (as in United Nations)  or look for other opportunities at VolunteerMatch.com and the U.S. Federal Government volunteer portal.

Make a Commitment at School or Work

In 2000, the United Nations (UN) analyzed the biggest world problems and established eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG).  The hope is to improve the quality of life for all living things by encouraging all countries to work toward these goals.

One place to start volunteering is by having students and employees participate where they work or attend school. Encourage your school or employer to issue a statement of declaration showing their support for volunteerism in achieving the MDGs.

Or choose a MDG on which your school or organization can focus. Take some time and read through each of the MDGs including details on what others have done in response. Or read the handout “At School: 8 Ways to Change the World.”

Organize an Open Volunteer Forum

One of the best ways to volunteer and get those around you involved is to invite them to an event where you can share ideas and experiences about volunteering in order to raise awareness. Invite youth organizations and community groups. Discuss the benefits of volunteering and how to encourage volunteerism. Start a mailing campaign about the benefits of volunteerism.

Network with Other Volunteer Organizations

If you’re already active in a community organization, perhaps there is another volunteer group that would benefit from your expertise. Bring different volunteer organizations and non-profit groups together in your community and work on a volunteer project/event together for International Volunteer Day.

Tell Your Own Story about Volunteerism

Volunteer with the written word. You can look at online opportunities that offer you the opportunity to assist a non-profit organization with all sorts of things including their writing needs. However, you may also want to consider doing a bit of personal writing about your own volunteerism.

Research, write and reflect about volunteerism and share your opinion with the local media (your school paper, community newspaper, local magazine) or share your thoughts on a community website through blogging.

At the end of the day – International Volunteer Day, that is – it’s all about taking the time to volunteer.