#1 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

For the last few weeks I have been thinking very seriously about finding an organization or something to volunteer for. Since I am just taking classes and have a fair amount of free time, it just seems like a good idea and something I could really enjoy.

I was curious if anyone on the board has had experience with specific volunteer opportunities? Did you enjoy it? How long of a commitment was it? Did you get burnt out? How were the people?

Thanks in advance. I'm just looking for ideas!

#2 Edited by cnlmullen (900 posts) -

I have a lot of experience volunteering to teach/tutor people. The organizations I volunteer with are all local, but I can say tutoring people with handicaps and helping people learn English is very rewarding work.

#3 Posted by spudtastic (542 posts) -

Some years back , I worked for the Salvation Army, qualifying super-poor moms for Christmas gifts for their kids. It was rewarding, although I was a white guy working in a ghetto location, so there was some cultural awkwardness, at least for them. They didn't qualify me regarding my religious beliefs ~at all~, even though I would have told them I was a christian. I felt good to help; it was very busy; it was sobering to see a 15-year-old girl who looked 12 holding her baby.( documents were mandatory)

#4 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

@cnlmullen said:

I have a lot of experience volunteering to teach/tutor people. The organizations I volunteer with are all local, but I can say tutoring people with handicaps and helping people learn English is very rewarding work.

Same same. I worked with immigrant kids mostly from Africa. Rewarding but kind of sad. Cultural differences can be difficult and sometimes I felt like giving one of the kids a fucking hiding for being a sexist homphobic little shit but overall it was a good experience. I worked in orphanages in Thailand and again it was the same deal, rewarding but sad. I'd say you should probably start off small and don't over commit your self. See how you find it and if you like then take on more work.

#5 Posted by rb_man (451 posts) -

I have and still do work for a chamber of commerce they do mostly events for kids in are neighborhood and also a summer festal. I do like the work and what I am doing makes me fell good the only down side is all the politics because of it being an organisation with a board of directors.

#6 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (474 posts) -

I volunteer as a writer for a french cinema magazine. It's the best since I get to see free movies and I met a lot of people that have the same interest as me.

Seriously, go for it. Just find a thing you're really interested in. You'll get great experiences and meet people. If things go wrong, people tend to understant more easily if you want to stop since you're doing it for nothing.

Good luck!

P.S. Here's one of my review, in case somebody's interested. http://www.fichesducinema.com/spip/spip.php?article3013&var_recherche=la%20folie%20almayer. I hope this does not count as spam.

#7 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

Meals on Wheels, Project NeXT Generation, Best Buddies, and a little bit with the local animal shelter and Big Bros/Big Sis's. If you have any questions, maybe I can help. I found Project NeXT Gen, a tutor/mentor type program for at-risk youths, the most fulfilling.