Points of Light’s Civic Circle offers nine paths to civic engagement because we know that change led by the power of people comes in many forms. Points of Light Global Network affiliates tell us that volunteering is one of the primary ways people have supported the humanitarian relief efforts in and around Ukraine. They also explained that, because this crisis comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been unforeseen ramifications including volunteer burnout as well as a singular focus on Ukraine relief work from those who want to remain engaged.
“People stopped helping in other areas, as they used to, and everyone wants to help the Ukrainian refugees — which is great — but when I talk with corporate partners or volunteers, they’re not interested in helping children, elders,” said Agnieszka Lissowska-Lewkowicz, who is the President of Points of Light Global Network affiliate and Polish non-governmental organization Centrum Wolontariatu. “We have to find a balance.”
There are countless needs waiting for support, from trash pickup in your neighborhood to walking dogs at your local animal shelter. There are so many ways to shine a light on your community by volunteering for a cause that speaks to you. To find a cause area that you feel passionate about, check out Points of Light’s volunteer webpage, home to the world’s largest volunteer network.
When you’re ready to begin working on your next community-based project, keep in mind these tips for tips for successful volunteering:
- Identify and Research the Causes You Care About
Figure out which areas of focus are important to you and which organizations you want to support. Now there are more ways to get involved than ever before. Consider whether you prefer to join volunteer opportunities that are in person or virtual.
- Decide on Skills-based vs Learning Opportunities
Think about what skills you have to offer or whether you’d like to learn something new. Some organizations are looking for specialized talent like translators. Others may offer volunteer opportunities that require training, such as becoming a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line.
- Find Balance
Be realistic about balancing your volunteer time with other areas of your life, like your job and your family. Volunteering as a family may be one way to combine family time with living your best civic life.
Points of Light operates with a network of innovative volunteer-mobilizing organizations who serve more than 177 affiliates across 38 countries around the world. Together we are inspiring, equipping and mobilizing more people to use their time, talent, voice and resources to create positive change in their communities. Learn more about our Global Network.