Here you will find my 5 tips to plan an epic volunteer opportunity right in your community and like a total pro, but, before going into the tips, I want to share with you the latest experience I had while volunteering in my community. Since Celi and I don't get the chance to work in the same city very often, whenever we are together we try to get the most out of it, and these past month when Celi and I were both in Monterrey, Mexico were not the exception.
Besides planning wellness and volunteer trips and some honey moons, and of course catching up with our personal lives, one of the main reasons that has us working on Soul Trips is our love for community service, so we decided to put our hands on the field and do what we do best!
End of the summer party at Casa Azul
With the help of some friends and other volunteers we planned a party for a local organization that was founded by a very good friend of ours. Casa Azul A.C. is a non profit that treats kids with cleft palate at no cost in the city of Monterrey, Mexico.
When we got to Casa Azul we were all a bit shy (including the kids) and not knowing what to expect, but a few minutes later we were already setting up the piñata, started some games, the parents of the kids also got involved playing with us and helping out to serve the food.
The kids had a blast as well as us, it was like being 6 years old again, playing musical chairs, dancing, breaking the piñata, eating candy, cake... And at the same time, seeing the amazing work this organization does for the community.
We also had the chance to meet with the founder of a great project called Voluntariando Monterrey, which connects volunteers with different projects in the city. You can follow them @voluntariandomty on instagram.
I personally believe that when you work for your community, the one who benefits the most is you, the volunteer, because you open your heart to others and from then, the community "bug" is within you.
Here are 5 tips that can help you plan an amazing volunteer opportunity for you, your friends, and other volunteers right in your own community.
Click here for more pictures and videos of our time in Casa Azul A.C.
5 tips on how to plan an epic volunteer opportunity right in your community.
Tip #1 Identify an organization you want to benefit or work with, contact them, let them know about your idea. Find out a bit more about their needs. You could plan a simple visit to a nursing home, a party at an orphanage, painting a mural at a local school... possibilities are endless.
Don't be afraid of asking your friends and family for help, from donating money, food, or volunteering their time.
When you go buy all your supplies, make sure you let the manager of the store, the reason of your purchases, and ask for donations/discounts.
Stay in touch with the organization you will visit to make sure you have everything you need, exact number of beneficiaries, if they have volunteers that will get involved, what supplies they already have, like tables, chairs, etc.
Don't underestimate the value of your work, even small things like greeting the people at the organization, playing with the kids, or talking to elderly makes a huge impact.
Bonus Tip: Relax and enjoy your day, treat everyone normal, like if you knew them before, not as if you were there to just deliver help, remember, you are there to spend quality time and meet other people.
If you need more advice, please contact us, share your thoughts or your experiences with these kind of projects, we are always happy to help.