When my siblings and I were young and just entering our first years of primary, my mum began volunteering at our school.

She used to help the teachers with reading time, class excursions and running the school canteen.

The one thing she noticed about her contribution was how much her and the other volunteers were helping to ease the teacher’s heavy workload and the benefits it gave the kids education.

Since then she has continued to do her part for her community by participating in beach clean ups, helping environmental groups and volunteering as a surf lifesaver for over 3 years now.

She’s demonstrated to us the importance of giving back to our community and how much of an impact we can create by giving a little bit of our time.

Importance of volunteering

With national volunteer week coming up this month, there’s no better time to contribute to your community.

The Australia Bureau of statistics shows that the number of adults who participated in voluntary work dropped from 34% in 2010 to 31% in 2014.

This decline is the first since volunteer work has been recorded.

The blame is most likely due to people’s busy work/ life schedules and the need for them to earn more money to support their families and keep afloat.

Yet, there are so many benefits for the community/ organisation and the volunteer themselves to be donating their time.

Some organisations such as orange sky laundry depend on the help of others in order for them to expand and do good for their community.

Orange sky is a for purpose organisation that provides a warm shower, fresh laundry and conversation to the hundreds of homeless men and women around Australia.

Without willing volunteers, this corporation and others requiring assistance would not be viable to operate.

National volunteer week, 20-26 May

Micro Volunteering

Have you ever signed an online petition or taken 5 seconds out of your day to promote a cause that you are passionate about on social media?

This is called Micro-volunteering.

Life can get busy and even when someone wants to give their time to benefit others, they might just not have said time available.

Micro Volunteer work can include; liking and sharing a post for a good cause, donating supplies to community pantries or even picking up litter as you see it.

With the digital age among us and technology continuously advancing, contributing to causes and voicing your opinion is now easier than ever.

Protesting a good cause that you strongly believe in is a good way to make the most out of contributing your time. Source: Pexels.

How to find work near you

Finding volunteer work can be very easy thanks to social media and technology.

Plenty of opportunities where your help and skills are needed can be found by using some of the apps mentioned below or by looking online and asking around.

Newspapers and online community boards can also be a good place to search, or a simple post online offering your services could help connect you with plenty of people needing a favour.

Volunteers are detrimental to any community. Source: Pexels.

Apps to use

  • Vollie: Online micro volunteer platform that allows people to donate their time and skills around the world.
  • Go Volunteer: Helps eager volunteers connect to charities and people who need help. Quick and simple site tools that locate nearby volunteer opportunities.
  • Be my eyes: Danish app that connects people with visual impairments around the world with people who are able to help them online. Simple tasks can be done for these people such as reading labels for them.
  • Skills for change: Online volunteering for busy people. Interesting and fun platform that lets people use their skills and passions to help others online.
  • Elbi: Fun app that allows volunteers to help/cheer up people online with simple and easy tasks.