There are countless people who need help across the world. It’s easy to think that help is only needed by people from underdeveloped countries worldwide, but that is simply not true. People need help in every community and city, and there is so much you can do for them locally. There are ways that everyone can help make the world a better place, so here are some ideas to help bring your volunteer spirit alive!
Being There for Those in Need
Some of the people who need help the most are people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Some of the residents may never receive visitors for a few months or a year. A study has even concluded that over 56% of residents experience intense loneliness due to lack of social support. It’s even an ongoing joke in the Simpsons, when grandpa Abe and his fellow nursing home residents get overly excited over a visitor.
There can be any number of reasons why this happens, including bad blood between family members or a lack of close relatives. At times, family members and friends live in a different area altogether, so regular visits are off the table.
Whatever the case, it can be extremely helpful to stop by such a facility and visit the senior residents. There’s no need to arrange for a long visit, but it’s a demonstration of love and kindness to volunteer your time and heart to those in need of attention.
Using Resources to Help Others
Everyone has been blessed with particular resources and gifts. Some are talented musically and can use music as ministry to provide relief, joy and comfort to people who feel down and depressed. Others may have financial resources at their disposal that enables them to donate to Unicef or another organization that can brings assistance to children and adults who need it (Big Unicef fan here – I’ll never forget the aid kits they provided to us when we were kids. <3).
Some people are gifted cooks or love to bake. Using those gifts in terms of proving tasty treats to the homeless and others are great ways that people can receive help as well as encouragement. People with athletic abilities or passions can get involved in organizing outdoor or indoor activities for children and youth. Here are more ideas if you need to brainstorm on how you can help others. The bottom line is that everyone can help make the world a better place by using his or her unique skills and abilities.
Making the Small Things Count
Sometimes, it’s all about the smallest actions. Buying a homeless man a meal, helping a lost child, and even giving someone a compliment – these are all small actions that can make the person’s day brighter.
We often focus on the bigger picture – long volunteer work that takes up entire weeks or days. However, we should focus on the day-to-day ways in which we can contribute to our local community as well. Every little bit counts when it comes to helping those in need, even by cheering up their day with a small nugget of help.
Challenge Yourself to Amazing Accomplishments
I have been a long time volunteer of a few organizations that help the homeless by providing them with homes built from the ground up – going at about 15 years at this point. Through these programs, I’m proud to say that I have built over 8 houses personally, with my own, bare hands and a lot of sweat, blood and tears.
Every single time it’s a huge physical and emotional challenge. Emotional because throughout the experience I meet the wonderful recipients of the home and learn firsthand about their difficulties and sad history. Physical because building a house brick by brick, shovel by shovel, paint stroke by paint stroke is incredibly difficult. But by the end of it all, it’s worth seeing the joy on that family’s face. We can finally provide a home to a local family who would otherwise be condemned to the dangers of homelessness.
Challenge yourself by thinking outside the box – there are plenty of volunteer activities you can join that are not necessarily connected to your skills, but which you can learn and eventually adapt to. It makes for an amazing experience!
Making communities and the world a better place begins by one individual making the decision to be of assistance. Although helping requires time and work, the results are absolutely worth it. Every human being is special, and each person can make a difference!
Do you do any volunteer work or help those in need in your community? Share below!
Thanks to Freepik for the unedited featured image.