New Year, New Opportunities to Do Good

( – Mahatma Gandhi once told his followers to “be the change [they] wish[ed] to see in the world.” One fantastic way to do that is to get out there and involve yourself in your community through volunteering. Social media might be all the rage, but if you want to make a difference and mingle with others, the real world is where change happens. provided a list of volunteering opportunities and how to find them.

One of the most rewarding places you could spend some time and touch people’s lives is at a food bank. These places provide sustenance to those in need, from children to the elderly. Some jobs there might include serving meals, picking up donations, or sorting and packing food. A good way to find your local food bank is to search the name of your town, plus “food bank,” “food pantry,” or “soup kitchen.” Also, include the word “volunteer” in your search.

Another idea is for animal lovers. Animal shelters care for homeless animals who need love and attention until they find their forever homes. Volunteering in this environment can include clean-up, walking the animals, socializing pets, giving pets, or meeting with potential adopters. Like the food bank, search for your town’s name and “volunteer,” plus “animal shelter” or “animal rescue.”

Art inspires and educates while bringing beauty and culture to a community. Consider volunteering at your local community arts center to either serve as an usher at a local theater, assist at an art gallery, or organize art programs or productions. Speaking of education, the local library is also a good place to volunteer by organizing shelves, helping at the front desk, or putting together events for your community members.

No matter where you live, there is no shortage of places to make a difference. To help find more in your area, search your zipcode on VolunteerMatch.

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