1. Think about why and where you'd like to volunteer. Do you want to spend your time outside or inside, at a park, or in an office? Are you passionate about an issue, like disease prevention, or work on the improvement of your community? Consider what you're good at, how you like to spend your time, and what you care about. Write down a list as you brainstorm your ideas.
2. Browse through the volunteering resources on the right and make a list of agencies that match your interests and needs. Read the descriptions under the areas you're interested in, and mark the ones that fit what you listed in Step 1. See if you can get to the agency from your home or from school. Also check to make sure you meet the age requirements.
3. Call the organization. Ask for either the contact person listed on the organization's website or the current volunteer coordinator. Introduce yourself and explain that you are interested in volunteering there. Volunteer coordinators are often busy, so you may have to leave a message or call a few times to reach them. If you leave a message on voicemail, speak clearly and slowly. Tell the agency your name, age, school, phone number, volunteer interests, and when they can reach you.
4. Ask questions. When you speak to the volunteer coordinator, tell her/him about yourself. Find out if this organization is a good match for you:
- "What does your organization do and whom do you serve?"
- "Can you send me a brochure or other material on your organization?"
- "What type of work can I do as a volunteer? Can you send me a description?"
- "Please explain any age limitations placed on volunteers." (Determine if you meet these requirements.)
- "Do you provide training? Who will be my supervisor?"
- "Where are you located? What public transportation is closest to your agency?" (You need to determine if this convenient to home or school.)
- "When do you need help? How many hours am I required to work for your agency?" (You need to determine if this fits your own individual schedule.)
- "Do I need to commit a certain amount of time?" (Some organizations require a minimum time commitment such as three hours per week.)
5. Thank the volunteer coordinator for her/his time and tell her/him you will consider the opportunity. Once you have made a decision about which agency fits your requirements, call to confirm starting date, time and place, frequency of your work for that agency and anything else required of you.
For more information, contact James Hughes