7 Specialty Volunteer Organizations to Discover [LIST]

Giving back in an out-of-the-box way [LIST]

Dec 5, 2013

Image from All Hands Facebook 

December 5 marks International Volunteer Day, an occasion to celebrate and recognize volunteerism in all its beautiful forms. Volunteering has been shown to improve mental health and even increase longevity, and the world of giving is vast and diverse. Here’s a list of 7 specialty volunteer organizations that buck the trend of a one-size-fits all approach - showing that whatever your personal interests or hobbies may be, there is a way to give back.

DATING - LOOKING FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE BY GIVING BACK
WHO: YourCauseorMine
WHAT: The free website is a meeting spot for people with cause-related interests to connect, volunteer and perhaps fall in love. Instead of the typical first date routine of drinks at a local bar, YourCauseOrMine highlights local volunteer events - which serve as a great alternative way to meet someone special for the first time.

Screenshot of YourCauseorMine

PROFESSIONALS - PUT THOSE WORK SKILLS TO USE
WHO: Catchafire
WHAT: The New York-based organization is a matchmaker of sorts- connecting professionals to nonprofits who are in need of their skills and talent. This unique opportunity provides volunteers a way to cultivate their expertise and bolster their portfolio, while doing good at the same time.


Screenshot of Catchafire

FIRST RESPONSE - CLEANING UP AFTER NATURAL DISASTERS
WHO: All Hands Volunteers
WHAT: In times of natural disasters like hurricanes, typhoons or tornados, All Hands mobilizes volunteers to work on site by repairing homes, clearing rubble and providing moral support to residents. All Hands currently has projects in the PhilippinesNew York and Colorado.

Screenshot of All Hands

ANIMALS  - GIVING TO ALL CREATURES
WHO: Humane Society International
WHAT: The Humane Society has dedicated themselves to helping all creatures by giving them a voice that humans can understand, by advocating for better laws to protect animals to providing rescue and emergency services. Animal lovers worldwide can contact a local shelter and volunteer to work hands on with some furry critters, or take a load off the staff by providing administrative support.

AGRICULTURE  - WORK THE EARTH
WHO: WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
WHAT: The eco-conscious nonprofit links volunteers to organic farms and small holdings that can use an extra hand. Volunteers generally work four to six hours a day in return for food and accommodation, along with learning about living an eco-lifestyle. Opportunities include: sowing seed, composting, gardening, milking, feeding and even making wine and cheese.

VOLUNTEER ABROAD - GET BITTEN BY THE TRAVEL BUG
WHO: Projects Abroad
WHAT: Projects Abroad matches volunteers with a tremendous range of projects worldwide. They cater to all different folks aged 16 to 75, and offer variuos fields of volunteering - from performing arts and archeology to teaching and building.

Screenshot of Projects Abroad

SENIORS - NOW’S THE TIME
WHO: AARP Experience Corps
WHAT: For active folks over 50 who care about education, AARP Experience Corps is looking for you. AARP Experience Corps is dedicated to spreading the joy of reading by working in elementary schools to improve the literacy of students.  For a list of broader volunteer opportunities, search AARP’s Create The Good to find a volunteer opportunity that suits you.

Screenshot of AARP Experience Corps

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