Okay, so I swiped that title from my mom. Yup, the truth is out, nepotism
reigns here at TechTrax. I get billing here because the
editor is my mom (Dian Chapman). Normally, I can pick out whatever sites
I want to write about. Sure, she occasionally gives me suggestions. This
month she gave me an order...write about Volunteer
The kids are going back to school, so those of you who have been chasing after
the little monsters all summer will now get a break. Think of all the free
time you'll have. Whatever will you do with it? Catch up on your favorite
soap opera? Surf the net? Clean the house? How about volunteering at your
local school and provide some of the needed assistance those teachers, who
are now in charge of your little monsters, probably need?
Kids not your speed? How about seniors? Animals? Mother Earth? Maybe you prefer
not to run around town volunteering. Okay, so you have a computer right?
There are lots of people who could use your help and you don't even have
to remove your bunny slippers.
I can hear your next comment: "but I don't know
how to find out who needs my help, besides what do I have to offer?"
Sorry, that excuse will no longer get you off the hook. That's because there
is a web site out there that has compiled tons of requests for help and it's
as easy as entering your zip code and picking a category.
Just go to www.VolunteerMatch.org!
My mom has done this in the past. And recently she was looking around and
found an organization who was hoping to find someone with just her talents.
They needed a ASP web developer to fix their missing person's web site. So,
together with some other volunteers, they're helping out a great cause. And
what a great feeling to know you're helping. She's told me some stories about
some amazing people out there who dedicate their lives to helping others.
It can really make you feel small in the scheme of things. But it's a great
feeling when you share a little time and get to see your small efforts make
a big difference to someone.
And it's so easy! Just go to the web site and enter your zip code. Then pick
from the many different categories, even virtual help, which means
you can do it from cyberspace through your computer. There is literally something
for everyone's interest.
When you find something that might interest you, investigate further by clicking
on the link.
Many have web sites where you can learn more. Do a little checking to see
if this is the type of organization you'd like to be involved with. If it is,
click to add your name. Oh, the first time you volunteer, they do have you
fill out a short contact form. Then, whenever you click on the "I'm Interested"
button, your contact information is automatically sent to the people involved
with the request.
And just look at all the organizations that need help from people with computers
who can share some of their time for a good cause.
If you run a business and you're looking for a philanthropic endeavor,
what could be easier to get your employees involved. Volunteer Match understands
the special needs of organizing a company venture. They can help your company
I first got started volunteering because high school students needed to put
in a certain amount of hours in volunteer service in order to graduate. Sure,
sometimes people have to be forced into sharing their talents to help others.
But it's easy to get hooked on helping, because it's such a good feeling
when someone says "Thank you."
The only problem in my case is that mom said we can't take home all the
puppies I tried to convince her we needed to rescue from the Anti Cruelty
Society where I now volunteer!