Most people think that volunteering means going to school and teaching or working with slums or going and doing some health checkups in unhygenic places. It seems more like a serious affair which requires lot of commitment and saying no to all the cool things that you might do in life. Of course volunteering requires some amount of commitment, but it is not as boring as you may think. There are numerous fun ways to volunteer. Also voluntering does not necessary mean that you have to spend some fixed time every day or every week. There are opportunities available from one off volunteering effort to a weekly effort. Below I have tried to categorize some of the volunteering possibilities based on time you can spare. So if you are thinking of volunteering and dont know where and when to start, one of these could be your starting point. (Since I am from Bangalore India, most of the volunteering opportunities listed here are from Bangalore, or nearby areas. But I am sure such kind of volunteering exists in other places as well. So if you are looking for some such opportunity other than Bangalore do drop in a mail at goli-at-ngopost.org, or drop in the comment below, we will try our best to connect you to the right place)
I cant commit anytime, I want to volunteer once in a while when I get time.
* Organize a Blood donation camp in your office. This is the simplest thing to do. There are NGOs like Sankalp, you just have to give a call to them and they will do the rest for you.
* Collect toys from your building and hand them over to the Toy Bank. Toy Bank is an NGO which collects toys and distributes them to various orphanages and schools. You could also spend some hours on weekend in Toy Bank in sorting the toys, and gift packing them.
• Take children to parks/educational tours. Kilikili is one organization which organizes such events for special children. There are numerous schools like Ananya , who are looking for people who can take children for one day half a day education tour to some factory/park/museum.
I can spend couple of hours to spare on weekdays
• Spend sometime in gift wrapping toys collected for distributing to less privileged kids through Toybank.
• Extra coaching to Residential schools like Deena Seva Sangha, Nele.
• Spend some time with old people in some of the Old Age Homes in the city, Om Aashram, Little Sisters of the Poor and Anand Aashram.
• Take spoken English classes to community women for 2 hours a day whenever you are free at Makkala Jagriti.
• Spend time with special children at the Sunshine Centre for Autism. Work with children from the Shrishti Special Academy and Association for people with disability.
I can work only on weekends
• If you like teaching, Prerana could be the place for you. Prerana is an Institute which supports higher education of poor meritorious students along with counseling them for choosing their courses.
• Reading books for blind children, recording cassettes for Blind children. An organization called Samarthanam works on this.
• Vidyanikethan runs a program called "Teach the teachers" wherein you and go and teach the teachers on various different subjects
I cant travel I want to do something from home
• You can translate books or documents/books/comics which are not available in local languages.
• You can try to design projects for children which help then in understanding concepts better, like a project or exercise to teach multiplication or solar system. It can be anything. This is required by lot of NGOs who are involved in teaching.
• You can write for NGOPost.
I want to do something related to art, performing
• There is a group called WEMOVE, which does theatre solely for fund raising for various NGOs.
• You could make films for various NGOs, which would help them in their fund raising drives.
I am a NERD, and want to do something related to computers
• There are numerous NGOs who need help in setting up their websites, and putting some basic Content Management Systems in place. They are ready to do work, you just have to guide.
• Maintaining PCs and networks for NGOs. Becoming a System Administrator for some.
I want to do marketing for NGOs
• Numerous orphanges, childrens organizations, TB patients, make a variety of things, starting from Greeting cards to handbags to candles. Just pick some of them and put it at the office reception for sale. Or you can invite the people and they will come to your office and put the stalls (in lunch room??)
This article was written by me and originally published in the sept2007 issue of Sattva, an ITIHAS initiative. You can find this issue of Sattva here.
Software engineer by profession, or rather the job that pays, Otherwise, a writer, guitarist, traveler by passion. I write for a monthly e-zine for Sattva, which focuses on social sector, initiatives around Bangalore. Have worked with number of NGOs mostly in educational area in Bangalore......read more