By Amber McClarin, IEA Enrollment Coordinator
Springtime, a great time to look ahead! A time to think about what we want to do when we emerge from hibernation, self-quarantine, or a city ordered mandate to stay at home. It’s a first for our collective society to have the luxury of time! I want to propose using that time to think of how we, as a community, can emerge from this experience with a spring in our step and drive to do good in the world. It’s with this in mind that my thoughts turn to volunteering!
April is National Volunteer Month. Organizations across the nation benefit from volunteerism. While we may not be able to get out and engage as we did in the past, there is no shortage of need for help and an abundance of demand for connection. Now is a moment of opportunity! Let’s use this time to think about who we are and what we want for our future — to think about volunteering, getting involved, and building community.
A couple of months back, before our lives changed dramatically, I had the opportunity to speak with David Levinson, founder and head of Big Sunday. Big Sunday is a hub of volunteer activities in the greater Los Angeles area. It is a non-profit organization that organizes a wide array of volunteer activities and also supports other non-profit volunteer programs. Mr. Levinson emphatically believes that the key to successful volunteering is to connect to each person’s passion! Big Sunday’s goal is to support and facilitate finding every person who could get involved. The organization is committed to its mission: “Absolutely everyone has some way that they can help somebody else!”
There is a Youth in Action arm of Big Sunday that encourages youth to get involved in volunteerism in ways that are organic and fun for kids of different ages. Check out their page; sign up for their daily e-mail which includes ways you can connect and ways you can stay entertained. Or if you have someone (anyone, anywhere) you’d like to sign up for a friendly call to keep them connected, you can do that too!
Just because we are isolated physically doesn’t mean we have to give up supporting our community. In response to the current crisis, the VolunteerMatch.com website is calling for over 70,000 virtual volunteers to fill the need. Organizations across the nation benefit from volunteerism. While we may not be able to get out and engage as we did in the past, there is no shortage of need for help and an abundance of demand for connection. Now is a moment of opportunity! A time to try something new and learn more about who we are and want we want for our world when we ultimately leave our homes for the great outdoors.
During this extraordinary time, let’s connect, let’s grow. After this current situation, when I see you again, let’s do what we can for the future we want!
Absolutely the world will be different when this is over…let’s think about how we want it to be different and then make it different, in a good way — A spring cleaning kind of way!