Archive for : volunteer

Cleanse Your Volunteer Diet: 5 Ways to Serve Better in 2015

January is already half over, so chances are, the resolution you made so earnestly at the end of 2014 – to get healthy, eat right, maybe go on a juice cleanse? – have already fallen by the wayside. But there’s one New Year’s resolution you can use. This month, pledge to go on a “cleanse” for the sake of your volunteer diet. Check out the tips below and serve better all year long.

Know who you are serving for.
Before you spend an hour, a day, a month, or a lifetime committing yourself to service, ask yourself, “who am I serving for?” In some cases, it might be to make yourself feel good. Maybe it is in honor of someone you love, or it stems from a deep drive to help others. Perhaps it is a combination of all of these factors. Whatever your reason, knowing the core of what drives you to serve will keep you motivated and ultimately help you serve better.

Try a bunch of different volunteer opportunities.
The more types of volunteer opportunities you try, the more likely you are to find one that uses your talents well and feels satisfying. So branch out and try lots of different service opportunities to see what fits you best.

Get to know an organization.
If you find an organization who’s mission you feel passionate about, get to know them well. Attend their programs, volunteer whenever possible, and get friendly with the staff and other volunteers. The deeper you know an organization, the more likely you are to be able to help in meaningful ways.

Find a service buddy.
There’s nothing like finding a service buddy to keep you committed to your service regimen. Make a goal together for how many days you will serve in the coming month, and hold each other accountable. You’ll have more fun and serve more!

Keep at it!
The more you do anything, the better you get – and that’s definitely true for volunteering. Practice makes perfect, after all!

Seasons of Giving: Where to Volunteer This Christmas?

It may not be a Jewish holiday, but Christmas still has Jewish traditions. Like watching movies. And eating at Chinese restaurants. And volunteering! All around the country, thousands of Jews take advantage of the day off, and volunteer at soup kitchens, shelters, nursing homes, and community centers.

This year, join in the holiday action! Here are a few great ways to plug in and volunteer this Christmas.

Washington DC JCC Join 1,000 other volunteers for a day of service on Christmas Day. Activities include everything from wrapping and delivering gifts, to serving meals, to performing songs for hospital patients.

Jewish Muslim Day of Service, St. Louis In this uniquely awesome event on Christmas Day, Jews and Muslims come together on Christmas to serve others. They are also running a huge toiletry drive to serve people in need.

Pittsburgh Christmas Mitzvah Day The Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh is organizing a huge mitzvah day on Christmas. There will be opportunities to care for the sick, volunteer at an animal shelter, feed hungry people – and more.

Jewish Volunteer Connection, Baltimore Join hundreds of volunteers in making the holiday brighter for others by participating in this mitzvah day. Opportunities include making and delivering care packages, welcoming home troops serving abroad, volunteering at a local shelter.

JUF Mitzvah Mania, Chicago On Dec 25, visit elderly residents at the CJE SeniorLife Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation as part of JUF’s mitzvah mania event.

Tikun: Light up a Life, London If you live in London and want to make a difference during the Christmas season, check out Tikun’s great, multi-day program. Activities include everything from bringing chocolates to seniors, arts and crafts projects with the disabled, and tea runs for the homeless.

Know of another great volunteer opportunity for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @repairtheworld.

Change a Life: Become a Tutor

August is “Back to School” month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for posts about inspiring education organizations, amazing educators, and ways to get your education on – whether you’re a student or not!

Hey college grads: remember how awesome it was to be a student? Okay, sure, there were overwhelming syllabuses, stressful tests, and an endless stream of papers to write. But still, college was great. When else in life do you get to dedicate four whole years to learning and expanding your horizons?

Truth is, once you get to the other side of graduation, finding time for meaningful learning and idea sharing can be difficult. But it’s not impossible! There is a way to recapture the magic of school: become a volunteer tutor! Through tutoring, you have the opportunity to share in someone else’s education journey, and help them along the way. Meanwhile, you will almost definitely learn yourself – as the saying goes, “students are the greatest teachers.”

So get back on the education wagon (minus the tests and papers), and become a tutor this fall! Here are some opportunities to get you started:

  • Reading Partners This literacy organization trains community volunteers to provide one-on-one reading tutoring to students in under-resourced schools across the country. They currently run programs in seven states and the District of Columbia – find out if there’s a program near you.
  • 826 Founded by author Dave Eggers, this amazing program empowers volunteer tutors to help students with writing skills at 8 different centers around the country. And they do it in just about the funnest way possible.
  • Math Nerds Good at math? Become an official math nerd, and join the ranks of other talented mathematicians who donate their time to help people with math-related quandries.
  • Volunteer Match Just type your location and the words “tutor” or “tutoring” into Volunteer Match’s service database to find a tutoring opportunity near you.