The following blog post was written by Kelty Christensen, Learner Engagement Officer at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement.
You have decided that you want to become a volunteer! Identifying the desire to volunteer is the first step, but there are some other factors that should be considered before embarking upon volunteering. Choosing the right kind of volunteer opportunity is crucial in determining the success of your volunteer experience. Here are some things to consider for first time volunteers.
What kind of volunteer experiences are of interest to you? With so many options for volunteering available, it may feel overwhelming to choose the right one for you. There are a number of volunteer personality quizzes available online to help narrow down your interest level. You may want to consider volunteering with an organization that you can connect with and feel strongly about.
How much time can you spend volunteering? The wonderful thing about volunteering is that you can choose how much time you want to be involved. Be realistic about deciding what will work for you and your life. It might mean that you volunteer once a week, once a month or more frequently. Whatever your decision, it should fit comfortably into your life.
Is the organization you want to volunteer with convenient to get to? Choosing something that is easily accessible for you will increase the likelihood that you will remain committed to volunteering. Consider the travel time and distance and whether you would be driving or taking public transportation.
What is your goal for volunteering? Be clear for yourself on why you want to volunteer. For some people, it is to gain work experience. For others, it is the thought of giving back and making a difference. And, yet, for others, it may be because they have a personal connection to a particular cause or organization.
Enjoy yourself! Volunteering should be fun and you should feel good about what you are doing.
If you are ready to begin volunteering, a great place to start is the Intercultural Centre. For more information contact the firstname.lastname@example.org and learn about the ICan Crew Community Volunteerism program.
Visit our IC photo gallery to see what volunteers have been doing!