There is an easier way to helping save the world than pulling an Angelina and trying to adopt a child from every country. It’s called volunteering, and you can guarantee to find yourself at least one voluntary position in the area you live in. You don’t have to be rich enough to not have to work, you don’t have to be retired, and you don’t have to spend every spare moment you have doing it. All you have to know is where to look, what you would like to do and how much time you can spare. It’s not rocket science.
Even the laziest of lazy people can help! Australian Red Cross has a volunteer program called Telecross Callers. This position requires the volunteer to work from the comfort of their own home, for 1 hour on their rostered days. The basis of the position is to “offer reassurance, personal contact and monitoring to people who are isolated and at risk.” Many people fear the idea of something happening to them and not being found for days, and this program is designed to reassure these people that they are cared for by someone.
Red Cross also offers a Teen Mentor program for those who are more inclined to help teens that might be “socially isolated or disengaged”. This program matches up the volunteer with a compatible teen, where the volunteer provides non-judgmental support and advice. And how much of your precious time will this take up? Anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour a week. That’s right. A week. Whether that means you sacrifice one lunchtime, or start one hour earlier so you can finish earlier. When you consider the possibility that that one hour a week might help a teen through the toughest time of their life, that time seems insignificant.
But Red Cross isn’t the only organization you can volunteer with. If event management is your thing, try volunteering with Oaktree Foundation, who helped organize the Make Poverty History concerts. Or perhaps you can work for RSPCA, helping organize fundraising events, sell tickets or even work in their shops. If this isn’t for you, there is also Saint Vincent De Paul’s, Cancer Council, even your local church, youth group or radio station! It doesn’t matter what you’re interested in, there is a volunteer position to suit everyone.
If it weren’t for the amazing people that volunteer their time so that others may have a real chance at life, all these not-for-profit organisations would quite possibly not exist. If you are interested in keeping the karmic balance of the world, or just want to give back to a society and country that has given you so much, volunteering is the way to go.
Stay tuned next week for “The simple life: those were the days”