Many organizations count on volunteers to provide services to the community, but it's not just the community that benefits. It's been shown that when you give your time or talents as a volunteer, you become part of a larger community, make or strengthen social connections, gain new friends and learn new skills. Volunteering can also provide a sense of purpose and give you something to look forward to. The benefits to the volunteer and the community are obvious, and there are plenty of local organizations that could use your help.
To get the most out of your volunteer time, look for an organization or cause that you are interested in or are passion about. Don't be surprised if you are asked to attend training or make a commitment to a certain number of hours each month. Organizations are making an investment in training you and need to know they can count on your help.
Check out these local volunteer opportunities:
- Contact the Canton Township volunteer coordinator for current opportunities for youth and adults, or take a look at this list.
- The Friends of the Canton Public Library need volunteers to help in the used bookstore at the library.
- Become a tutor with the Plymouth Canton Community Literacy Council and help area adults develop reading, writing and communication skills. Training is provided.
- Open Door Ministries has a need for help with food distribution and their job bank.
- FirstStep is a non-profit agency providing comprehensive services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Visit the volunteer page of their website for current opportunities.
- Canton Goodfellows is dedicated to providing gifts and clothing for Canton children in need at Christmas time. They have a variety of volunteer needs.
- Meals on Wheels delivers meals to homebound seniors. Volunteer drivers are needed, and mileage is reimbursed.
- The Humane Society of Huron Valley has a variety of roles for volunteers.
- The Michigan Center for Youth Justice is a social justice organization working to create a fair and effective justice system for children and young adults.
- Search the Michigan Volunteer Registry for volunteer opportunities across Michigan. There are a variety of organizations and time commitments, and you can register to be part of an on-call group of volunteers for various needs.
- Search for local volunteer opportunities on the AmeriCorps website.
- Sports fans can volunteer for events hosted by the Detroit Sports Commission.
- Love arts and culture? Consider becoming a volunteer at University of Michigan Musical Society, The Henry Ford, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, or Detroit Institute of Arts.
- Youth ages 11-18 can join the Youth Volunteer Corps for team-based, structured, diverse and flexible service-learning opportunities.
If you can't make a traditional commitment to an organization, you can still find ways to volunteer. There are many alternative volunteer opportunities that provide flexibility and take advantage of your unique skills.
Tech savvy people can offer to help an organization with their website or social media. Good with numbers? See if your skills could be applied to bookkeeping or tracking grants. Handy? Work on a community fix-up project or put your knitting or sewing skills to use. Your talents can be applied to benefit many causes. Here are a few:
- Be My Eyes: an app that helps people with visual impairments manage everyday tasks.
- Letters Against Isolation: write letters to residents of care homes and assisted living facilities.
- Project Linus: make blankets for children's hospitals, shelters, or service agencies.
- Translators Without Borders: provide translation services to help people get vital information and be heard.
- American Red Cross: join the volunteer team or volunteer to make a life-saving blood donation.
- Volunteer Match: search for virtual opportunities that fit your schedule.