Ask the Readers: Do You Volunteer Regularly?

By Ashley Jacobs on 22 March 2016 67 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Liz, Susan, and Jeff for winning this week's contest!

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and to support a cause you believe in. Plus, studies have shown that volunteering contributes to your overall happiness!

Do you volunteer regularly? What are you involved with? What has your experience been like? If you don't volunteer, do you offer support to your community or other oganizations in another way?

Tell us whether you volunteer regularly and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, March 28th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after March 28th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
     
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
     
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Guest's picture
Amanda

I do volunteer regularly by sitting on the board of two organizations that I believe in. For one org, I do their website maintenance and write articles for their newsletter. For the other, I help with a special project. One works to protect local green space, the other is an arts incubator of sorts. I like that meetings are at established times, and that there are lots of projects to get involved with to make an impact. It feels consistent.

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Pamela Marten

Yes, I clean house for an elderly shut-in twice a month.

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cherie

YES! I have long volunteered at organizations that pique my interest - currently i volunteer at a crisis and suicide hotline. Incredible to see how many people in need can be helped by a well trained group of volunteers.

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SKB

I have been a volunteer at the local hospital for over 10 years. I am in the library and enjoy visiting with patients, families and staff who come in to look at magazines, books, and use the computers.

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Guest

I don't volunteer in regular intervals, but I do try to volunteer a certain number of times a year. I've found there are more opportunities I can do in the summer, so that's where most of mine are centered around.

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Doug

Since I retired a year ago, I needed something to keep me busy and voluteering helps keep me active and involved. I voluteer for 2 national groups that serve the automotive collision repair industry in recruiting new technicians, and providing financial grants for technical school makeover's. In addition to that I volunteer 2 half days a week at one of the local hospitals. Our group pushes wheel chair bound patients to and from appointments, and assists with discharges and other small tasks. The patients are so appreciative of the smallest bits of assistance and a friendly conversation. The other benefits include a new camarderie of active and involved retirees and great exercise pushing all of those wheel chairs.

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Tina in NJ

I sing in the church choir and with various mission opportunities via my church. I am also involved with my quilt guild, helping to raise funds for women-related charities. I used to volunteer in the library of my daughter's elementary school, but that was then.

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Tara McMachen

Hello! I am the volunteer social director for a local chapter of an organization in my area, so I volunteer daily to organize events. I also volunteer at a local animal shelter, and in many other ways in my community. I find volunteering as a great way to meet new people, enjoy activities in my surroundings and to spend time.

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Donna Sako

I volunteer to help the local Museum by being a docent. I have done it for at least 14 years. I also volunteer for my church daycare center. I am on the governing oversight committee which helps to run it. I also work the dinners the church may do and act as their media person to get advertising out to various newspapers, radio and TV. As needed I also volunteer for special projects fro my community. All of my experiences have been good.

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Mami2jcn

I have a new baby so I haven't been able to volunteer recently.

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Guest

I love volunteering and sometimes think it's an addiction! I volunteer as a development committee member for The Justice Theater Project, a social justice-oriented theater company and a coach for the Miracle League, a baseball league for kids with special needs (which is SO FUN). I also tutor for Read & Feed, an organization that helps kids develop literacy skills and gives them books so they can build up their own home library.

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robin

i frequently volunteer with local charitable organizations promoting the arts, the Make a Wish Foundation, CARTI (Central AR Radiation Therapy Institute) which provides oncology services locally, Habitat for Humanity, and Ronald McDonald House. All of these are near and dear to my family and many friends who often gather to attend or volunteer alongside me.
Thanks!

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Elena

I don't volunteer regularly

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Julie Wood

I volunteer at my local food bank every month!

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Matt

No I don't, but I would like to start.

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Natalie

I volunteer to pack meals for children overseas through Feed My Starving Children.

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Mary W

I have volunteered all my life. I look at Brownies and Cub Scouts as the beginning of volunteering. I follow my passions and volunteer where ever I live to connect with the community and the improve my skills. I worked last week as a Poll Worker in the elections. I wish more people would sign up to work the elections and make our voting process easier for everyone. It is rewarding work no matter where you volunteer!

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Gina

I don't volunteer as often as I like since I don't have time working three jobs. Instead I donate what I can.

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J. Pario

Yes, although not regularly. I work at our all-volunteer-run church thrift store.

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Kelli

I don't volunteer regularly, but I do donate money and goods when possible to animal charities.

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Amy

I cover evening hours for our small-town library a handful of times per month. I home-school my kids, and it gets me out of the house a bit which is nice! I love books, and like being able to provide further access to them and other library services for the community when I can.

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C.j.

A few years ago I volunteered at a hospital 4 days week. I wouldn't mind going back to volunteer if my work schedule allowed for it

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Jenny D

I volunteer at the library that my church has. I love to read and read every single day. It's very thrilling to be a part of such a vibrant ministry that is a blessing to so many. I love to see mothers with their children, choosing DVDs and books for the week. I'm so thankful that my church sees the importance in providing such a wholesome activity for the church families, that doesn't cost them anything. I also enjoy interacting with people, assisting them in finding something that meets their needs, and having the chance to make some new friends.

I also take part in as many food drives as I possibly can throughout the year.

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Susan P.

I have volunteered all my life and am active in my community as well as at the schools my children attend.

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Pamela

I used to volunteer with my local animal shelter as a foster parent. But I have fewer chances to volunteer now that I live full time on a boat.

I recently found out about a fish counting research project that is a great fit for my new life.

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Julie Lundstrom

I do try to volunteer when I am able too. I have a disabled child so I am not able to volunteer as much as I would like too. My daughter does volunteer weekly to help organizations.

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Emily S.

My company really prides itself on community involvement, so we volunteer once a quarter as an entire organization. I also serve on the 'Volunteer Committee' and we organize the events and choose organizations to donate to.

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Jay

Volunteer some and make donations to local groups

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Olivia

Several organizations in our town use volunteers quite a bit. Our public library, (especially after their borough funding was cut), and our town's little thrift shop. My family benefitted from both. It's a pleasure to help them help others.

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Kay

I do not

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Jeff

not regularly but still do volunteer

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Nancy Rusk

I am the Volunteer Services Manager at a hospice. I recruit, train, and spoil my volunteers rotten! I believe in volunteering so much that I volunteer myself with the hospice as well as serving communion at my church. Volunteering seems like such a nice, selfless thing to do until you do it and realize that you get back so much more than what you give!

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Dawn Monroe

I volunteer mostly at my grandkids school.

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Amanda Sakovitz

I haven't volunteered recently

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Kay

My most recent volunteer service was to organize our church library. Over 8,000 books were donated and had to be cataloged and shelves. Organizing a team we were able to have the library operational in 8 months!

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Guest

I used to volunteer at the nursing home regularly, but haven't lately. I want to start again though.

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Guest

For five years I've volunteered at our animal shelter to walk dogs four days a week. Great exercise and a great way to get to know the dog or dogs (or cats) you'd like to adopt.

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BRB

I volunteer my money fairly regularly.

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Penny

I am a veteran and volunteer regularly with my Amvets Post here in my hometown. I cook about once a month, call bingo every other month and am a volunteer trustee for our Post. I am also a Rider and we raise funds for various local charities. I love helping the veterans.

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Michelle

I try to alway be actively volunteering. For the past 3 years I've volunteered as a victim advocate for a domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center. It's a 8 hour a week "on call" commitment. It's often not easy work, but it's something I feel is tremendously important.

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Laurajj

We do not volunteer very often due to time, but we do buy products the kids are selling to help support their clubs/organizations in our community.

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RebeccaH

Absolutely I make sure to volunteer as well donate to causes I care about

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miss kim

I volunteer but not regularly. I wish I had more time to.

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Dee

I volunteer at my church with the finance team as well as through my sorority where I am the webmaster. I also volunteer at a local inner city elementary with their Reading Explorers program (which I LOVE). I get the opportunity to bond with a little girl and encourage her during our reading time!

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Chris

I volunteer with my local library - organizing 2 book sales each year for the past 5 years. I get to see lots of really cool books and some really strange ones too.

Also volunteer serving meals at my church on a monthly basis and quarterly join a group to sort food donations at a food shelf.

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Louly

No, I don't. But I want to! Sometimes I help out at the school if that counts.

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FireKitty

I don't volunteer regularly, but I do make sure to help people in need. I make homeless kits that I keep in my car and give to homeless people I see around town. They have snacks, drinks, seasonal items like handwarmers/tissues/cooling towels, socks (which have been their favorite) and small-value gift cards when I can afford them. The kits aren't expensive, I usually just stock up on bags and stuff to fill them with at the dollar or salvage store.

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Monique

I have volunteered for the local Humane Society for several years. It's something I really enjoy doing and get at least as much out of it as the animals do. I've also volunteered a bit with different hospitals and food banks as part of getting experience in my field, which has taught me a lot and exposes me to all kinds of areas within the field. I highly recommend volunteering to everyone, it just takes finding the right opportunity.

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April

No as a single mother with a young son I don't have the time.

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Donna D

Not currently, I have helped some in the past.

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Catseye

Between work, school, housework and errands, I don't have the time or energy these days.

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Alissa A

I volunteer with several local organizations. Great way to meet people and help others at the same time!

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Michelle D.

I volunteer although not regularly. I do donate money and goods though regularly.

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Michael K

Not regularly but I do volunteer especially around the holidays.

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Suz_Glo

I have always volunteered with my children's schools: PTA, Class Mom, tutor. But for the last 7 years I have worked in the main office of the high school every Monday morning. I enjoy it and hope I am lessening the workload for the very busy staff. It has also given me a very interesting and balanced perspective of high school.

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Kat L

I do volunteer, for the local non-profit Hospice, as a patient visitor and helper. Hospice has lots of different ways to volunteer, helping patients, being a respite to the caregiver, visiting hospice patients in nursing homes, and even caring for the pets of patients. I also volunteer in the handbell choir at church. I volunteer because my 'to pay the bills' job is not an area of work I find meaningful, so it helps me feel better about how I'm spending my time on earth. Love Wise Bread, great site!

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Ernest S.

I don't volunteer regularly, but I want to get more involved in some community activities, particularly around helping underserved youth.

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Ashley

I haven't volunteered recently but when I have more time I will.

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C Hui

I volunteer a few times a year.

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Susan Smith

I volunteer at my children schools and at the Humane Society

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Sarah S

Yes once a month.

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Ana Lee

I do volunteer regularly and also donate.

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Liz

I wish I could do volunteer more often for sure.

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Happy Love

I volunteer once or twice a month with a local food pantry.

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Guest

I volunteer at church all the time.

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Elle

I volunteer at my kid school more than anything.

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Mark C

Not regularly but I would like to

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Guest

Wish I could find the time

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Thomas Murphy

I don't volunteer regularly

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Kat

I volunteer a lot at my kids schools and my school as well.