If you watch the news or just look around you, you will see a lot of people and animals 'in need'. The may not have a house or a job or enough food and they are dependent on others to help them to make it through. Some people are growing old and struggling to walk or drive and need some help.
Are you a person that would like to help and do some good for others? Then you can become a volunteer.
You can get extra information here.
Volunteering means spending some of your free time helping others. You may volunteer to help other people, such as the families who lost their homes after a natural disaster. But you can also volunteer to protect animals, the environment, or any other cause that you care about.
You will help other people or animals when you volunteer, but in a way you will also help yourself. You can be sad if you see people suffer and by helping them you can also deal with you own emotions and feel better for giving your time and goods.
Another advantage of volunteering is that you see the way that some people struggle to make a life every day and you start to realize how thankful you must be for what you have, and not just always moan about what you do not have or want. It will teach you gratitude.
You will be proud of yourself for making a difference in someones life - be it a human or animal.
This all sounds great, but how do you get started to become a volunteer? It is best to ask around at churches and schools and find out what charity services they run. That way you can become part of one you choose. You can also go to animal shelters.
Remember, being a volunteer does not mean that you need money to help others, you can volunteer your time to drop off food, or walk the dogs or help the elderly.
Volunteering yourself and your time to help others is the whole idea.
Some places want volunteers who are 12 or even older, depending on the job. Often kids start volunteering by working alongside their parents. For instance, you might be too young to prepare food at a soup kitchen, but if your parents volunteer there you might be able to go along and pitch in.
You do not always have to be part of a place that does volunteer work, you and your family can even do something together like
- pick up the rubbish lying around in your street
- make sure you neighbors have food
- help to serve the food at a shelter
- clean up around your school or other buildings
- if you see stray animals, try and catch them and take them to a shelter
Can you think of any other things you can volunteer to do in your community?
You can even hold your own 'fundraising' where you for instance bake and sell cookies and use the profit to buy some food for the needy. The possibilities are endless.
The most important thing is you do something for others, without expecting something back in return or that you have to tell everybody that you are helping others.
“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” Smiling in your brother's face is an act of charity. “That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”
It is not always easy to volunteer, and you can see things that upsets you and you will have a lot of happy and sad emotions, but at the end, the feeling of 'giving back' to others will be enough.
Team South Africa banner designed by @bearone