There’s so much excitement each year heading into the summer, as we start planning get-togethers, daytrips, and vacations. It’s important to make time to get away, recharge, and reconnect with the people we care about. And yet I remember there always being a point in the summer as a kid when I just got plain bored…
In between days at the pool and beach, mix in something new this summer and consider giving back to your community by volunteering. Volunteering with family and friends is a wonderful opportunity to bond — much like family get-togethers and vacations — and you’ll feel good knowing you’re helping your community.
Summer Volunteer Shortage
Non-profit organizations tend to have a volunteer drought during the summer vacation months, which is in direct contrast to the volunteer boom that happens around the winter holidays. So if you can make time this summer, there are organizations that can use your help.
You can volunteer on your own or get a group of your family or friends together. Volunteering is a great family activity, and you can even get little kids in on the action. Even if they’re too young to do more grown-up jobs, you can bring along activities for them to work on that will benefit a non-profit. For example, while you’re working, little ones can make cards and pictures for kids in a local children’s hospital or for seniors in a nursing home — and they can hand-deliver them too.
Finding a Volunteer Project
Independence Blue Cross associates have volunteer opportunities available to them through the Blue Crew, our corporate volunteer program. Many Blue Crew projects are open to friends and family of associates as well.
For others, here are some good resources for finding volunteer projects in the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey area:
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to physically volunteer at an organization to help. There are other ways you can help this summer, and you can get your whole family involved:
- Share your harvest. If you have a vegetable/fruit garden, then you probably know there’s a point each summer when you have an abundance of certain crops like tomatoes and zucchini —and not enough neighbors to give it to! Try contacting a local food pantry to donate any surplus of homegrown fruits and veggies.
- Clean your closets. Summer is a great time to clear out clothes, coats, and shoes that you don’t use anymore. Any items that are still in decent shape can be donated. You can bag up your items and put in a clothing donation bin or call a local shelter, church, or crisis center to see if they take donations.
- De-clutter your toy bins. If you have kids, then you probably have toys, stuffed animals, games, or children’s books that your family has outgrown. Items that are still in good shape can be donated to charities, churches, a local Ronald McDonald House, and homeless shelters.
Make Plans, Pencil It In
Summer can fly by, so plan your volunteer days ahead of time and get them scheduled on your calendar. You’ll be glad you did!