The beginning of the year signals new transitions, hopes, and dreams. Focusing on what we can do and what we can accomplish going into the beginning of 2023 is what most people think of when heading back to work or school after the holiday season. We make lists and tell others of the things we wish for in the coming 12 months. Goals like running more, being kinder, spending more time at home, saving up more, learning to knit, or taking more deep breaths are common. And while It’s important to reach for growth for ourselves, it is important to reach for others as well.
One idea for the new year that I will be implementing in my life in the coming months is volunteering. As daunting as volunteering is, it’s important to the people who need volunteers. There are many ways of helping others this new year, some as simple as giving blood. As someone who has made efforts throughout my life to donate as much as I can, I deeply urge others to consider it as well. I remember going to blood draws and the nurses always saying to me that they appreciate someone young like me donating because they do not get many young adults doing so even though our donation helps the most. We are healthier, stronger, and are able to recover faster than older adults. The red cross constantly has donation sites and information about how to donate on their website. It is as simple as filling out an appointment time online, showing up and going over a few questions, sitting in a chair for the blood draw, and getting to pick some yummy snacks to eat afterward.
There are more volunteer opportunities like food banking or helping disabled veterans as well. Calvet.gov is a website that connects you with all veteran volunteer opportunities that can range from community outreach to leadership platoon trainings. Check out any local food bank to see what they need and what hours they are open to volunteer.
Volunteering is not only about others, it is about you too. It is about learning from and understanding others, as well as becoming aware of your community and the people in it. Volunteering can help you connect with others that have the same interests as you. So try something new within your community by setting a goal to volunteer this year.