Dear Amy: I would like to volunteer in my community, but I don’t know how to find opportunities. — Parker T., Boston, Mass.
Dear Parker: This is a wonderful time of year to find ways to help in your community. You can join your mom or dad and help serve food at a homeless shelter, play board games with nursing home residents, shovel a driveway for someone who is not able to, or even tutor students at your school.
There are many opportunities to serve, it just depends on what you enjoy doing. Last year I heard about a school that collected gently-used coats to donate to people who needed them. Students in each grade competed to see which class could collect the most coats. The goal was 100, but students ended up collecting more than 800 coats for a local charity to distribute.
Volunteering can also happen close to home, such as offering to help an elderly neighbor with yard work. The important thing to remember is that there are many ways to serve and if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, you can come up with something new on your own. Check out Volunteer Match, volunteermatch.org, to get started.