Make a Difference! Volunteer
By Sandy Schroeder
You may already know how good it feels to donate unused household items for storm victims or send money for disasters around the globe. Or maybe you always intend to volunteer, but it has just not happened.
Look What Can Happen
The huge California Coastal Cleanup Day is an exciting reminder of what volunteering can do. It started in 1985 and just resurfaced after a pause during the pandemic. Over the years more than a million people have moved 26 million pounds of trash from inland waterways, gutters, parks, lakes and streams to the many sandy beaches and waterlines, according to the Orange County Register.
But what can you do in Texas -- or wherever you're at?
Reach Out to Help
Here are a few suggestions to help the many who are in real need.
Solve hunger - Help with hands-on work to serve the homeless at meal centers or work a drive-through to provide boxes of food for families in need.
Furry notes - Show up at your local animal or marine center to walk the dogs, pet the kitties or talk to injured seals. Bring along needed supplies or staff a fundraiser in your community.
Down to basics - If you are a true animal lover, volunteer to rescue litters of kittens or stray cats. Carry some cans of cat food in your car and work with local animal shelters to find homes for all of them.
Book it - Join all of the other readers staffing your local library as you volunteer to entertain a children's reading group or stock the shelves.
Don't forget the lonely ones - Reach out to neighbors in need in your block or around your community. A basket of flowers from your garden or a box of freshly baked cookies could make someone's day.
Help the teachers - Lend a hand at local schools to get the kids back in the classroom. Do whatever is needed. Fund supplies or run errands.
Visit a senior center - Play the piano, help with crafts or bring a guest dog or giant rabbit as a special surprise.
Help school sports - If you have a child playing soccer or football, help out wherever you can to round up referees, bring oranges, or do cleanup. If you are really motivated, volunteer to help out at practices (got to be in shape for that one).
Volunteering is one of those unique tasks that often benefits the giver as much as it does the recipient. Lend a hand and take your family along if possible. Guaranteed, you will all go home smiling.
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