CityMash.com - The start of a New Year often brings with it objectives to become a better version of yourself than you were last year. Whether that means getting in shape, breaking a bad habit or changing your diet, one thing that fits all of us are exercises in mindfulness, gratitude, and extending one’s own concern over others. One of the best ways I know how to do that is to give your time for those causes in need.
Here are some great volunteer opportunities around the city that can help spark your interest, regardless of whether it’s for two hours over the weekend or a couple times a week. Get involved selflessly in your community through non-profit organizations that are looking out for our earth, our animals, and for each other.
1. Food Production & Gardening
Green thumbs, or those looking to adopt some knowledge in the field, so to speak, there are tons of opportunities around the city to become involved with growing organic food in this effort towards sustainability and plant-based subsistence.
Fostering both your health and your independence, growing one’s own food is a vital practice that teaches about the value of our food through the effort involved in putting it on our plates.
2. Community Shelters
There are many shelters located around the city that are always seeking volunteer help to assist those less fortunate among us.
Last winter I spent some time around the Holidays at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and it was a truly eye-opening experience. I won’t say too much about it, as it was a very real and rewarding experience that can only truly be captured first hand.
I encourage more people to become involved in the community by lending a hand, donating goods, offering an ear, or simply a smile.
Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter *Currently seeking female volunteers
3. Sustainable Green Spaces & Transportation
Environmental groups are also great organizations to become associated with. In the wake of the current destruction posed at our earth mother, taking some time out of one’s busy week is a good way to give back.
Address environmental concerns in groups by tackling various issues regarding the ecosystems, local parks, food production and conservation of the Metro Vancouver area.
4. Animal Rescue & Shelters
Express your compassion this year by volunteering with the thousands of orphaned or abandoned animals in the city.
This is a great activity especially for those who would love to adopt a furry friend but can’t make the full-time commitment, or for those whose homes are not pet-friendly. It’s a quick application process to volunteer with animals often followed by a short crash course.
The SPCA is perhaps the most well known, although there are many other organizations as well who require the dedication of caring volunteers like you!
Have you volunteered in any of these organizations or others? What’s been your experience like?