Today I volunteered at an animal shelter. It was an uplifting experience, probably one of the best experience I’ve ever had. In this blog post I’d like to share certain tips if you’re interested in doing voluntary work.
1. CHOOSE A CAUSE WHICH YOU LIKE
It is hard to be happy to volunteer if you are not exactly passionate about the cause. So choose a social issue which speaks to you at a personal level. Choose NGO’s which you actually CARE for the outcome, rather than ones which you only go because everyone else is doing so. For me, I’ve always loved animals, dogs especially. Hence, animal care is more of a hobby than a chore to me.
2. BE PREPARED
Once you have identified a passionate cause, do your research! There are many tasks to be done, items to bring, dress codes, and procedures to follow when you are doing voluntary work. Hence, it is definitely best to visit the NGO’s website or to give them a call before you pay them a visit.
3. GET FRIENDS INVOLVED
Volunteering is always fun in groups compared to going in it solo. It not only strengthens your bond with the other person, it also creates a ‘ripple’ effect in which more people do good in the world, which is always a wonderful thing.
4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
During the volunteer process, it is easy to get caught up with the people and events and not listen to our biological needs. Hence, listen to your body. Drink lots of water, wash your hands if you’re getting yourself dirty, don’t over-exert yourself, take breaks if you need to, and get yourself cleaned up afterwards if you are dirty .
5. DONT TAKE IT TOO PERSONALLY
I met this dog which I absolutely fell in love with. He was white and adorable. When I walked him back, he refused to go back to the cage and even teared up in front of me. That scene haunts me even till now. I wish there was more I can do, I wish I can adopt him. But I know that I am not capable of raising a dog at this moment. Hence, while compassion is a strength , at some point, you must accept that these are the way things are, and all you can do is play your part in going more regularly to make a difference.
6. PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK FOR A JOB WELL DONE
7. GO BACK.
Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop doing good. Every small part plays its role. You do make a difference.
8. SHARE YOUR STORY
So that it will inspire more people to volunteer and give back. My personal message on the animal shelter is this: If you are considering an animal, go to the shelter to adopt a great pet instead of buying one. Wherever you are, there is always a pet who is in need of a home, and who will love you unconditionally.
And to that dog I met? I’ll come back for you little guy.