By Kimberly Paulk, SHARECharlotte.com, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.
Some things are just meant to go together – like summertime and flip flops. I mean, you can have summer without sandals, but why?
The same holds true when it comes to volunteering. I love to volunteer with my friends for a lot of reasons, but here are my top three:
– It’s easier. Like walking into a party where you don’t know anyone, sometimes volunteering for the first time is a little, well, intimidating. But not if you’re with a few girlfriends! Same thing is true of volunteering.
– It’s a great way to meet people. I don’t know about you, but for some reason I meet tons of new people when I’m volunteering with a group. Maybe I want to share the camaraderie, or maybe it’s just easier for me to start a conversation with a total stranger knowing one of my buddies has my back. The fact is, though, volunteers are some of the nicest people. A smile and warm “hello” is generally all it takes to start a friendly conversation.
– It’s more fun. Every year I try to volunteer to tag ducks for the KinderMourn Hope Floats Duck Race. I disregard Reason #1 because I go alone, but I know when I get there I will be in the company of a large group. Many of the people there will already know each other, but many will not. Everyone is there for one purpose: putting small numbered stickers on the underside of what seems like bazillions of smiling little yellow ducks (to help raise funds for a great cause). There’s a zen-like quality to finding exactly the right rhythm. Grab duck, tag, toss, repeat. And I do love working shoulder to shoulder (wing to wing?) with others that share the same goal.
Crisis Assistance Ministry – Inspect, sort and hang clothes for the Free Store.
Humane Society of Charlotte – Help feed the animals and get the kennels sparkling clean.
Hospitality House – Prep lunch or dinner for guests.
A Child’s Place – Deliver snack bags to CMS schools (pick your schedule – either deliver regularly or just one time).