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Finding a Volunteer Job


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America has a long tradition of volunteer work and it is therefore, relatively easy to find a good cause, to which you can devote your effort. Volunteer programs cannot replace government efforts, but they can make a difference in many social areas. Much of what in Europe is done through government programs, is here, in the USA, done by volunteer work. Just reflect on the following:

More than 55% of adult Americans volunteer in some form, that is about 105 million adults.
Volunteers contribute about $225 billion to the economy. That is based on an average of 3.5 hours per week a volunteer spends for the issue he/she supports.
Almost 60% of teenagers volunteer for causes. Although, that includes participation in bands and other forms or entertainment which would not be called volunteering in other parts of the world. But still, it is a large number that shows the public spirit.

There are many reasons why people volunteer. Some do it because they want to give something back to the community, others because it is a form of networking, others to overcome loneliness or other forms of social isolation. Almost everyone is getting something measurable out of volunteering: The people for whom you volunteer and the volunteer him or herself.

Before you look for a Volunteer job, ask yourself a few questions about your own motivations:



How is my health? Do I have any relevant health problems?
What skills and abilities do I bring to the volunteer job?
What kind of financial resources do I have to allocate to my volunteer work? Remember, you might have to travel to a place, etc.
What past volunteer experience can I offer?
Can I offer other resources such as computer access, networking,office space, car usage and space, etc.?
How much time and effort do I want to devote to volunteer activities?

Once you have decided on these issues, you can go further.That is, selecting what you would like to do and asking yourself how it will affect you:

Do you want to work as someone who implements programs, develops programs, or do you want to manage a process or only work at the board level?
Would you like to work directly with individuals, within small or medium sized institutions, or with nationwide and international groups?
Would you like to work locally, regionally, nationwide or globally?
What type of work touches you directly. how does it affect your values and sense of mission and how will you focus on that task?

When you have determined all these issues, you can start to search for a voluntary job. Some local areas where you can look for volunteer jobs are show below. Some of them might not be that attractive, but volunteer work is supposed work to help someone else, unconditionally and without reservation!



Some Local Volunteer Opportunities


Public Hospitals and churches Civic Clubs Community Theatres
Public Schools and Libraries Local Sports Teams Museums and Art Galleries
Non Commercial Day Care Centers Community Sponsored Soup Kitchens Orchestras and Ballets
Colleges and Student Organizations Meals on Wheels Community Choirs and Bands
Neighborhood Watch Food Pantries Monuments and Public Parks
Prisons, Halfway Houses Habitat for Humanities Historic Restorations
Drug Rehabilitation Shelters for Battered Women and Children Youth Organizations

Other volunteer jobs can be found in some or the organizations shown below. Some of these are obviously a considerable challenge. There is a wide variety of jobs available and each site specializes in different types of volunteer jobs.

Name and Website What it is and how to apply What it does:
AmriCorps
1201 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20525
Tel.: (202) 606-5000
TTY: (202) 606-3472
e-mail:
questions@americorps.org
Founded in 1993 by President Clinton and incorporating VISTA and NCCC founded by President Johnson in 1964

Information on how to join a specific program or project or how to sponsor a project is on the web site

AmeriCorps members help:
  • Tutor and mentor disadvantaged youth
  • Fight illiteracy
  • Improve health services
  • Build affordable housing
  • Teach computer skills
  • Clean parks and streams
  • Manage or operate after-school programs
  • Help communities respond to disasters
  • Build organizational capacity
boardnetUSA boardnetUSA™ is the unique website revolutionizing the way nonprofit boards and new leaders find each other. Matches individuals who would volunteer for board positions in Charities and volunteer networks with the needs of charities and volunteer organizations
1-800-Volunteer.org This is a national database of volunteer opportunities powered by a volunteer management system for non-profits. Search today to find a place to volunteer or help in your local community. It matches volunteers with organizations and volunteer opportunities in your state. It has virtually thousands of volunteer opportunities and jobs available
servenet.org
Another database where you can find local charities and volunteer projects. Just enter your zip code and you will be redirected to a list of projects in your area.


FIND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES.
unvolunteers.org
United Nations Volunteers
P.O.Box 260 111
D-53153 Bonn
Germany
information@unvolunteers.org
Tel: +49-228-815 2000
Fax: +49-228-815 2001
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism To find out about opportunities to work as a UNV volunteer, please first read the 'Becoming a UNV volunteer' page
uso.org The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform. To find out how you can join the USO's corps of volunteers, please refer to our locations directory to contact the center nearest you.
Volunteer.gov Volunteer.gov is the most comprehensive clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities ever created. You can enter geographic information about where you want to get involved, such as state or zip code, and areas of interest ranging from education to the environment, to access volunteer opportunities offered by a range of partner organizations across the country or around the world Nationwide volunteer jobs and opportunities
Mentoring.org MENTOR was founded by philanthropists Geoffrey T. Boisi and Raymond G. Chambers in 1990. Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee. You can start and design your own program in your area. the site tells you how to do this (well......somewhat!)
Seniorcorps.gov Senior Corps connects today’s over 55s with the people and organizations that need them most. We help them become mentors, coaches or companions to people in need, or contribute their job skills and expertise to community projects and organizations Various programs such as the Foster Grandparents Program or the Senior Companion Programs and many others
Peacecorps.gov Counseling teenagers in Belize. Launching an Armenian computer center. Promoting HIV/AIDS awareness in Malawi. Teaching chemistry in a Ghanaian high school. Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer means 27 months of hard work. It takes determination, flexibility, patience, and a sense of humor.

A useful source for volunteer jobs are always libraries, churches and local sports clubs. Check with them and see whether they have anything to offer. You should always submit a full tailor-made resume if you apply to any of these jobs.


Government Jobs

Federal jobs are listed by Federal Government agencies in vacancy announcements published in various journals, web sites, directories, databases, mailing lists and hotlines.

Each Federal job vacancy should include;
    the announcement number
  • the description of the position
  • the requirements
  • the deadline to apply
  • the series/grade
  • the salary range
  • the promotion potential
  • the basis for rating
  • application guidelines such as format (OF 612, resume, etc..), resume guidelines and KSA questions.
The Federal Government hiring process being pretty strict, not respecting the rules and deadlines listed in the vacancy will get you irremediably disqualified, even if you are the most qualified candidate.

Federal Job Sites

While it is recommended to check government agencies' websites for more information, here are a few sites that list vacancies for Federal jobs:
Federal Resume Writing


Here are some interesting books from amazon that might help you in your decisions on what kind of volunteer job to take.

Some useful Books you should consult from amazon.com

They deal with a whole host of issues, especially, when you consider doing voluteer work abroad.

If you have any specific suggestions, send us an e-mail.


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