Looking to Volunteer This Christmas?
Here’s five volunteering opportunities you can do year round!
It’s that time of year again, the sound of Michael Bublé and the smell of cinnamon is everywhere.
With Christmas just around the corner, many Australians are looking for opportunities to give back to their community. Australians are no strangers to volunteering, nearly a third of people over 15 do some volunteering activities throughout the year. That’s nearly six million people who are putting their hands up to help out.
After all, it is the season of giving but if this is your first time trying to get into the spirit of the season by volunteering you might be disappointed. Finding a volunteering position over the holiday season can be quite challenging as the sector experiences a Christmas rush. The not-for-profit sector sees a 42% increase in volunteering over the holiday period.
It’s heartening to know so many people are moved by the spirit of giving over the holidays but not-for-profits and charity organisations need volunteers year-round. So, this holiday season why not pledge to make a change for the better next year and become a regular volunteer with one the fantastic volunteering opportunities or organisations below.
Do you speak more than one language? Consider supporting your community by sharing your gift for language with someone who needs to feel heard.
Australian Multicultural community Services helps older immigrants feel supported in their community by providing friendship and an ear through their volunteer program.
As a volunteer for the Australian Multicultural Community Services, you would be matched up with an older person who speaks the same language as you and you would visit them either in their homes or in an aged care facility once a week or a fortnight depending on your availabilty.
You can swap stories, take them out for a walk, watch a movie or simply listen to them and share their language. It’s a wonderful opportunity to build a friendship. You can find out more about volunteering for the Australian Multicultural Community Services here.
Build a community
Are you handy with a hammer? Why not join a build on Habitat for Humanity . This not-for-profit organisation originated in Georgia, United States in 1976 as a grass roots effort with the vision of world where everyone had somewhere safe to live. They have helped more than 35 million people worldwide access safe housing.
They are currently looking for people to join The Bushfire recovery and Resilience Program, rebuilding homes lost to the bushfires in New South Wales and South Australia. You can find out more about volunteering for this program here.
If you’re an animal lover, consider volunteering at the RSPCA . The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the RSPCA has been around for 197 years and runs primarily on volunteers.
You can help out by fostering animals, walking the dogs or volunteering in the cattery. But remember there are a lot of other volunteer roles that need to be done as well such as administration and call centre positions.
You can learn more about volunteering for the RSPCA here.
Become a Justice of the Peace
Are you interested in law and keen to serve your community in a prestigious position? A Justice of the Peace is required to complete a certain number of volunteer hours so it keeps you accountable and you can serve their community by witnessing documents and affidavits.
JPs are there for some of the most important moments in people’s lives, when they are buying a house, getting divorced or starting a new job. So, it’s a crucial role to play in your community and a wonderful opportunity to give back.
To become a JP, you’ll need to complete the 10794NAT Course in Community Justice Services (Justice of the Peace [Qualified]). The course can be completed online or through a two-day face-to-face workshop at one of our locations. To find out more about becoming a JP, you can check out the course here or contact us.
Phone a Friend
If you’re always down for chat and you like meeting new people consider volunteering with Friends for Good. This not-for-profit organisation is committed to addressing loneliness in the community and educating people in the health effects of loneliness.
Did you know that loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? It’s worse for your health than obesity and it’s a bigger problem than you might know especially after the last couple of years with constant lockdowns and state borders keeping people from connecting with family and friends.
Friendline is a national support line that operates with one goal in mind, to be your friend on the other end of the line. Volunteers man the phones and are waiting to share a cup of tea and a story with anyone who is feeling lonely and like they want to call someone. You can find out more about volunteering with Friendline by following the link here.
So, get a jump on your New Year’s Goals and consider committing yourself to a meaningful volunteer position with one of the organisations mentioned above. It is after all the season of giving, why not make it last all year.