No. of Recommendations: 6
Ideas for volunteering:

Sign up at your local elementary school to read to kids. You'll probably need to be fingerprinted and pass a background check--about $40 for us in rural Idaho. Establish yourself as a good, reliable reader and then talk to the teacher/principal about becoming more involved.

Attend school board meetings and see if there are stakeholder committees you could serve on. One of our semi-volunteers (worked at a greatly reduced rate) conducted a series of focus groups to see what our community wanted in preparation for a major school bond.

Run for school board, or city council, or county commissioner, or ????

Get involved with your local Republican/Democratic party and help support candidates and causes you believe in. (Making phone calls, going door-to-door--which is a whole lot more fun than it sounds. Some of us will be standing at the main corners in town next Tuesday waving signs to remind people to vote.)

Make a list of all your local non-profits. Most need volunteers for simple stuff (greeting clients, running errands, cleaning the office every Friday after the work week). Many are frequently looking for board members. At our animal shelter they're always looking for people to take the dogs for walks and play with the cats.

Coach a sport at your local middle or high school. Many schools no longer require teachers to coach some random sport, so they bring in volunteers from the community who receive a small stipend.

Our newspaper has a section where non-profits and community services can list events.

Local libraries often run a variety of programs--ours offers Spanish classes for English speakers, tech things for kids (and other after school programs), and an assortment of evening presentations by community members (foreign travel, understanding foreign policy--all depends on who volunteers to do something).

VITA--Volunteer Income Tax Assistance--which several people on the MF boards do. Not just tax prep, but also doing in-take--getting people filling out the form, making sure they have the right documentation, etc.

Once you start looking you'll probably find tons of stuff!

Have fun.

Kathleen
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