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Fun Ways to Volunteer in the Community

August 1st, 2013 Inspirational

If you're looking to give back to the community but don't know what to do, try taking a look at these options. You may just be able to find the best volunteering method for you, whether you want to work with people, with food or just clean up your neighborhood.

Cooking and serving
Between preparing and serving food at a soup kitchen or delivering meals to people in need, there are many ways for people with a love of food to share their passion with the less fortunate. 

Soup kitchens are in many cities and towns, and they're always in need of help. Many charity kitchens are run through churches, so try asking members of your church if there's a way you can help in your community. Even if there isn't a soup kitchen directly affiliated with your church, the members of your community will likely know another way that you could volunteer. Charitable kitchens are usually looking for food as well as help, so if cooking and serving food isn't  your strong suit, you might want to try organizing a food drive.

Meals on Wheels has more than 5,000 branches delivering about 1 million meals a day, and they're always in need of volunteers, according to their website. Statistics on the site show that there are millions of elderly homebound Americans who have limited access to food, so volunteering in the kitchen or as a driver of your local Meals on Wheels chapter is a great way to give a comforting meal and some company to those in need.

Mentoring
Helping out young people in need can help them achieve great things later in life, according to the president's United We Serve campaign. Young people who are mentored are significantly less likely to skip school or cut class, and even have higher chances of graduating from college than their peers. Mentoring is about leading by example and steering kids on the right path to success. Being a mentor isn't like being a parent - rather it's about being part of a community that pitches in to help children achieve their maximum potentials. Between groups like the Corporation for National and Community Service, National Civilian Community Corps and Senior Corps, millions of kids' lives are touched by the impacts of  caring adults.

Helping veterans
Our nation's soldiers are in need of help across the country, and there are dozens of ways to help. You can help by bicycling with injured vets, organizing sporting events or simply spending some time with them. There are programs where you can also drive for disabled vets and even help displaced veterans who are looking for work and a home. If you're more of a history buff, you could also volunteer at national monuments like the National Mall in the capital, the Alamo, Gettysburg or other national landmarks across the country. Informing your fellow citizens of the valor, courage and sacrifice of our veterans can help our returning soldiers find more welcoming communities.

Cleaning up your community
If you're a hands-on person, you might want to consider volunteering to clean up trash from local parks and streets. Keep America Beautiful coordinates thousands of volunteers to clean up around the country all year long, with an emphasis on Earth Day each spring. Keeping our parks, streets and highways beautiful is good for everyone and the environment as well.