Learn how volunteering can benefit your community and change lives - including your own! Real volunteers from the San Francisco Bay Area give advice on how to overcome barriers to volunteering and finding the right volunteer experience for you.
No task today set for this video on volunteering. Watch the video through and try to understand as much as possible about the backgrounds, the volunteer projects and the motivation behind all the volunteers in the video.
There’s such power in any individual giving up their time in service to others, it’s so inspiring, it’s really what is the underpinning of our community.
Being able to have a strong community, making sure that people are proud of that place in which they live, that take care of one another. It all has to do with building those connections and what better way to do that than just start volunteering?
Once we step outside, things we are doing to help ourselves and think about what do you think we can do to help others? That's volunteering.
Volunteers look like me, they look like you. They look like the people that you past on the street.
I am a marketing professional.
I am a paediatrician.
I am a non-profit professional.
I am the founder of a technology consulting company.
I volunteer with girls on the run as a running buddy.
I volunteer with the San Francisco bicycle coalition.
I am scientist and an environmentalist.
I am an openly gay elected official.
I volunteer at my citadel.
I am a daughter of immigrant parents.
I volunteer for Sunday streets.
I am a member of the board of director of Shanti.
I am a partner with Deloitte.
I volunteer for the American Red Cross here in San Francisco.
There is no one right way to volunteer. There are as many different ways to volunteer as there are people willing to volunteer.
But I think what unites the description I would say of a volunteer is someone who cares, someone who wants to be involved, someone who wants to give something back.
I care about people and I care about the environment.
I care about eradicating poverty.
I care about the quality.
I care deeply about the people who are on the fringe of our society.
I care about education.
I care about animals, especially puppies.
I passionate about kids.
I care that people have a home and have food.
Sometimes it is easy to get just into the daily grind and by volunteering, it helps me break out of that and, you know, it makes me frustrated because of all the world’s problems, I can go and do something about it. I can go volunteer.
I think the best thing about volunteering is making a difference in me.
Brings the best thing out of people and you make some really lifetime friendships doing this.
Really learning more about what I can push myself to do.
It is an excellent way to spend your time and retirement.
The sheer joy of building something with someone and seeing the results of that.
You will meet people you would never have met otherwise, you will see a different side of life.
There’s things I’ve learned that I have applied to my home life, my business life.
We have an obligation to build trust in the community that affords us so much.
The advantage of having a workplace volunteer programme is that employees are energized when they come back to the office.
It is great way to connect with my employees outside of the office.
It is very important that businesses support the communities that they do business in and that those communities are healthy and they thrive. And volunteering is the one of the best way to do that.
And you can know at the end of the day, you did something. And you did something to change a life, you did something to change your community.
Volunteering isn't always easy, but it’s always worth it.
The most challenging thing about volunteering is there are so many in need but only one of you.
You see non-profit and you see community organizers with really limited resources and that's, that’s hard to see.
Sometimes you feel like you can’t go far enough. You know, the need is always stretching way out in front of you.
I think folks don’t realize how impactful a little bit of their time can be.
I think the biggest thing that stops people from volunteering is fear that they just don’t have enough time. My feeling is if you look at the rest of your life and how busy you are, you could say that about lots of thing you do.
But if you make this a priority in your life, you’ll find time for it and actually the other things in your life will become much better too.
I’ve tried to find a way to connect my different worlds, my personal life, my business life, my volunteer activities all together.
I think once you are there, you don’t think about it in terms of time "Oh, I am gonna to be here for two more hours". You think of it in terms of what you’re doing.
Forget your calendar and be honest with yourself, be honest with the organization. Tell them what you can do and tell them what you can’t do.
There are organizations that can work with any number of scheduling challenges. We just have to be open to being flexible, to working our schedule around the need.
The hardest thing about volunteering can be finding the right fit.
People should understand or get a better feel for what they like doing in life and then finding a volunteer opportunity that will satisfy that.
Take something that you are interested in or think you may be interested in and try it. And try it not just once, but try it couple times.
What problem do you see in your community? What do you see that you wanna solve? Because I can guarantee you there is someone working on that and they can use your help.
There are a million different ways you can make a difference. Pick any one of those, and go for it.
The first step is always just asking what it is that you can do to help.
Even a couple of hours on the weekend or during the weekday, maybe your lunchtime. All of that matters.
The opportunities are there. All we need to do is look for them. It’s a click away.
For those of you who are wondering how to volunteer, what to get involved with, you only need one website.
They can get you involved in all kinds of things across the Bay Area, where you can make a difference.
For people who haven’t volunteered yet, they just haven’t met the right connection. The Volunteer Center is here to help you make that connection.
Let the Volunteer Center connect you to a cause you love.
I am a volunteer.