If you love nature, want to give back to the community, and are looking for a way to add value to your life, volunteering is just for you. These days, tons of organizations need help from volunteers of all backgrounds and skills. If you haven't thought about volunteering before, here are some reasons to consider it now:
● New Experiences - Volunteering allows you to travel to new places and meet new people. Even if you don't go outside your city or state, you can still get plenty of new experiences and memories.
● Training - Volunteering can help with a wide array of work, which can translate to new job growth or opportunities.
● Feel Good - People who donate their time and energy are much happier than those who don't. Volunteering can also help manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
Types of Volunteer Programs
With so many volunteering programs out there, it's hard to pick one. However, here are the five basic types of volunteering work available:
These programs can typically be as short as only a few days. In this case, volunteers can be from virtually any background because they don't need special skills or training. Instead, a group of people comes together, performs a few tasks, then head home. If you're trying to volunteer in your community, you'll likely find lots of short-term programs.
The primary benefit of a short-term program is that you get to see the benefits immediately. Plus, these experiences don't require a lot of time or investment.
Examples: Tree Planting, Beach Cleanup, Park Cleanup, Meal Serving
If you want volunteering to be an integral part of your life, you can choose a long-term program. Usually, these experiences can last for a long period.
In this case, you need to volunteer with an organization that helps you build strong practical skills. The more specialized your skills, the more valuable you are to the volunteering organization.
Although long-term programs can require lots of time and investment, you can feel good about being part of something far-reaching and building a solid foundation for a specific cause. Plus, it is nice to work with the same people for longer periods. You develop lifelong relationships with like-minded people and gain good friends.
Examples: Building Houses/School/Hospitals, Providing Medical Care in Poor Regions
Natural disasters can occur anywhere at any time. After the disaster, relief programs need volunteers to help with tons of different duties, from collecting information from displaced individuals to handing out meals and water. Volunteer relief programs will go until the impact of the disaster has subsided and the situation has returned to some level of normalcy. Some programs may last a couple of weeks, while others might go for months.
Examples: Hurricane Relief, Earthquake Relief, Tornado Relief
Nature is constantly in need of help and stewardship from the people who use and rely on them. Without conservation efforts, many plants, animals, and entire ecosystems would have gone to ruins, and the world wouldn't have been as much habitable as it is.
In this case, the volunteer program is often ongoing, so participants can come in and out at their leisure. You can volunteer for a few days, or you can help out over and over again as you see fit.
Examples: Marine Conservation, Rainforest Conservation, Wetlands Conservation
Sometimes, you want to volunteer, but you don't know where or how. Volunteer placement programs will send participants to where they're needed most. Usually, you have to pay a fee to be a part of the program, and you'll receive training for the kind of work you'll be performing. Placement programs can be short or long-term, depending on the needs of the volunteer organization.
Examples: Voluntourism Programs
There are many advantages of participating in volunteering programs ranging from soul fulfilment to personality development. And many of them relate directly to your career prospects too. Your volunteer work can prepare you for the demands of the working world. However, make sure you volunteer with an organization that focuses on teaching in-depth practical skills that will assist you in gaining proper knowledge, attitude, and abilities for the workplace.
Oceans Research Institute is one of the prestigious organizations where we offer our volunteers a one-of-a-kind Field Research Program. Here they learn about marine research and conservation. During this unique volunteer program, the volunteers will acquire exposure to a wide range of projects and in-depth features of practical field research on species such as white sharks, bottlenose dolphins, southern right whales, and smaller benthic shark species. At the same time, volunteers can earn credits for their university degrees. If sea and sharks fascinate you, come join us!