Make the world a better place!
Volunteering. Whether you’re in pursuit of a new experience, don’t have much money to donate, or just really want to do something to directly help people, volunteering is a pretty noble and rewarding option. Overseas “voluntourism” is a recent fad, but be very careful, as these travel volunteering industries are big business; make sure you know where your efforts are going and what your relationship is with the community. Check out this post for some practical advice.
The good news is, there’s so much you can do to volunteer, without leaving the country!
If you want a challenge and some responsibility, plus practical training opportunities, consider joining a community assistance group. You can help people deal with floods and weather events by joining the State Emergency Service, assist lost and injured animals by helping out at the RSPCA, become a volunteer fire fighter through the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, or save lives at the beach by volunteering in Surf Life Saving. All of these are ways to give straight back to your local community, meet great people, and pick up skills you’ll use for the rest of your life.
There are also tonnes of opportunities to work with children and migrants. For example, you could volunteer as a literacy tutor, or help with rubbish clean-up and gardening at your local primary school.
Charities are fantastic places to volunteer; usually they are well-organised, and are always in need of assistance. The Red Cross, Cure Cancer, St. Vincent de Paul and others need you! You can volunteer in emergency response, administration, or by being an ambassador.
Helping with conservation efforts is another very popular option, and will allow you to get your hands dirty, get some exercise, and save the planet! Conservation projects are always going on, so head here for listings in your area.
To connect with groups looking for volunteers, a few great websites are available. One is Go Volunteer, and another is Seek Volunteer, so get online and start volunteering! I’m sure you’ll have a great time, make friends, learn new things, and be sure in the knowledge that you’re giving something back. Good on ya!