Summer is the ideal time to soak up the sun and spend your down time having tons of seasonal fun. In between all of that fun, the summer also provides a great opportunity to do something good and give back to local communities, charitable organizations, and not for profits. Giving back can be something as simple as getting together a group of friends and doing liter clean up for a couple hours at your local beach or volunteering your time and labor at a nearby animal shelter. Long Island has many different charities, nonprofit organizations, and shelters, all of whom are always looking for eager volunteers to lend a helping hand.
There are also many great websites out there that aim to help you find volunteer opportunities not only in your general vicinity, but also within your personal interests and passions. VolunteerMatch.org allows you to specify your location and then they ask you about what sorts of things you care about, like if you care about advocacy & human rights, children & youth, animals, disaster relief, or education & literacy, and so on. From there they direct you to volunteer opportunities that fit your criteria. Long Island Volunteer Center is very much the same, except you enter your location and keywords to what sort of volunteering you’d be interested in doing, and all of the opportunities listed are only on Long Island.
Here are some ideas to get you started when it comes to summer volunteering opportunities on the Island.
- Start your own fundraiser in support of a local charity or organization.
- Share your pet! Bring them along on a visit to an elderly home and watch as Fido brightens up their day.
- Clean up liter from the roadside, at the beach, in a park, etc.
- Help out at a soup kitchen.
- Collect necessary supplies for an animal shelter.
- Spend some time at a veteran’s home speaking with the vets.
- Donate your old clothes to a local charity. Maybe even get the whole family in on it!
- Hone your gardening skills at a local community garden.
- School might be out but there’s still summer school! Volunteer to tutor students struggling academically.
- Read to kids in the pediatric ward of your nearest hospital.
- Offer to read over and revise resumes for people in transitional homes reentering the work force.
Still need ideas for places to volunteer at? Check out LongIsland.com’s own list of charities on Long Island!