Volunteer Opportunities in Houston County Georgia
If you have not been able to find volunteer opportunities in Houston County GA, quite honestly you have not looked very hard. They are all around us. Some of these are overlooked because they are so common place and others are ideas that may have never even occurred to us.
Below are some of the well-known local volunteer opportunities in Houston County GA as well as a few that you may not be aware of. There are literally hundreds more ways you can get involved in the local community, so use this list as a primer to get you started, both here at home and elsewhere.
Houston County Animal Shelters
Your local animal shelter or humane society is staffed mainly by volunteers. In addition to the daily office volunteers there other types of volunteering that is done in conjunction with these facilities as well. Parents and their children are often allowed to come at certain times to walk the dogs or play with the kittens. Volunteers are also needed to serve as foster homes for animals when the shelter is full.
The Humane Society of Houston County accepts volunteers in various areas such as foster care, fundraising, transporting, event planning, administrative duties, and adoption counseling. Organizations like the local humane society benefit from donations as well to provide veterinarian care, shelter, and nutrition to animals in need.
Whether it is in a nursing home or their own home, there are many lonely people who would love to have someone stop to visit when they no longer are physically able to get out. These are not always elderly people. Parents of seriously disabled or seriously ill children fit into this category at times.
Many churches have programs to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those in need. Check with churches as well as city or county agencies about how to get involved in this worthwhile endeavor to see if there is a need you can fill.
Churches, mother’s groups, AA groups and other regular meetings have nursery staffing needs. If you love to care for children, this is a great volunteer opportunity. Volunteers can devote time to student life groups, youth worship, Wednesday night programs, Vacation Bible School, Upward Sports, summer camps, and harvest festivals. In most cases, all that is necessary is to go through a background screening check when you apply.
Volunteers serve as short-term English teachers working directly with immigrants. It can be as simple as helping them learn our language or as involved as preparing them for citizenship. The training is not extensive but the opportunities are wide open. Various foreign language translators are extremely helpful for foreign families in the local area.
Children’s athletic programs are always in need of coaches. Volunteer to be an assistant your first year, and maybe you will be ready to take on a head coaching position the next year.
One example is volunteering with the non-profit ministry, Upward Sports, which is the world’s largest Christian sports provider. There are many volunteer opportunities within this ministry, such as serving as a coach, referee, scorekeeper, or a concession stand worker, etc. Upward Sports provides volunteer opportunities through local churches for baseball, basketball, cheer-leading, flag football, and soccer.
The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are always looking for good leaders. Scouting is a great way for volunteers to invest in the next generation. Volunteers are needed for uniformed scout leader positions and lay supporters. Uniformed scout leaders facilitate and organize activities for their designated scout program. Lay supporters handle administrative duties to include budgeting, transporting, recruiting, and managing equipment.
All volunteers must complete registration and undergo a background check, provide personal references, be nominated by the chairman committee, have an appointment with the chartering organization, and finally receive acceptance by the district executive. Scout leaders are well versed in wide array of roles including child development, project management, mentoring, and instructing.
Not all volunteer opportunities require you to stay here in Houston County. If you are a professional and would like to do some international travel, the United Nations has a volunteer program for you. After becoming registered and approved for the UN volunteer program, you will be contacted about opportunities available.
Volunteers promote projects centered around development, peace, and sustainability in more than 130 countries. Projects revolve around such issues as climate change, global viability, women’s empowerment, elimination of poverty, energy conservation, and UN relations.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Christian ministry that provides for those in need. Volunteers can give back to the community by “Being a Shield.” Volunteers can provide support to adults in need through adult rehabilitation, veterans affairs services, prison ministries, elderly services, missing persons programs, and human trafficking campaigns. Children and families can by assisted through hunger relief efforts, housing and homeless services, youth camps, and Christmas assistance programs.
Monetary donations are also welcome, and donations in the form of clothing, furniture, household goods, appliances, and even vehicles can help those in need in the community.
This non-profit organization connects artists with opportunities to work for social change and life improvements by using their artistic talents. They assist with the costs involved to varying degrees when artists work through their programs. Programs that are offered include community organizing, health & human rights, international development, ecological & cultural conservation, education & advocacy, leadership & equity, and philanthropy.
ArtCorp artists inspire and educate the community through murals, theater, and other various creative forms of expression. Team up with one of the local artist or theater groups and bring more cultural awareness to our communities.
These volunteer opportunities for experienced business owners can often be provided over the phone or the Internet if meeting in person is not convenient. Mentoring agencies connect new entrepreneurs with experienced mentors in their field, to give them guidance towards a successful future.
The non-profit organization, SCORE, has over 11,000 volunteers in 320+ areas including Houston County providing business mentoring. Volunteers teach workshops, lead seminars, provide mentoring advice, connect with entrepreneurs, and assist start-ups and existing businesses in business development.
Mentoring school aged children can be a rewarding experience for the volunteer and the student. Mentors usually provide academic and social support at least one hour per week to youth in need.
The local organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of GA, provides mentoring opportunities to those interested. School mentors will undergo an interview, provide references, and pass a background check before being accepted. Mentors generally work one-on-one with a little brother or little sister referred by a teacher for more individualized care. Mentoring typically improves the student’s academic performance, attitude regarding school, and relationships with authority.
Many nursing homes and hospitals are encouraging the use of pet therapy with their residents. This is a way that you and your pet can volunteer together and bring a smile to someone’s face.
The local Middle Georgia therapy group, Careing Paws, has various volunteer teams that take registered therapy animals to visit local schools, libraries, hospitals, senior living centers, rehabilitation centers, and airports. Careing Paws is affiliated with The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D) program which allows students to communicate and read to registered therapy animals in schools, libraries, and other appropriate settings.
There are volunteer opportunities in Houston County healthcare facilities ranging from information desks, filing records, delivering mail to patient rooms, and operating the gift shop. The local healthcare facility, Houston Healthcare, provides these volunteer opportunities and more through their auxiliaries at Houston Medical Center and Perry Hospital.
Teens aged 14 years and older can also participate during the summer months shadowing medical professionals for 1500 hours in the areas of radiology, respiratory, out-patient surgery, and patient transport. Here is a handy list of Houston Health Care volunteer opportunities.
Becoming a volunteer firefighter could be a valuable and rewarding way to serve your community. Volunteer programs require rigorous training, a background check, and generally a six months probation period before becoming accepted as a permanent member.
The local fire department, Houston County Fire Department, has a program for volunteers aged 18 years and older that meet certain guidelines to begin the process of training as a volunteer firefighter.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides help and support to those in need. Their compassionate care includes providing disaster relief, supporting the armed forces, facilitating blood drives, teaching health and safety courses, and assisting in international humanitarian services.
Volunteer opportunities within the American Red Cross span a wide array of interests and commitment levels. Monetary donations and blood drives are just two of the many ways to donate and contribute to the American Red Cross.
Other ways to volunteer are through disaster services, teaching community First Aid and CPR classes, lending a hand at the Veterans Administration, and supporting fundraising events. You can contact your local chapter to learn more about what opportunities are available in your specific area.
Hosting an international exchange student can be a life-changing experience and a unique way to learn about a new culture. A host family provides care, support, shelter, and meals to an international student studying stateside for a year or semester. Exchange students come from over 90 participating countries, are generally proficient in English, and are highly motivated high school students.
Hospice care provides comfort and support to terminally ill patients and their families. After undergoing various training and a background check volunteers can lend support through patient companionship, caregiver relief, and administrative duties.
As you can see, there are a wide range of activities listed above in a variety of categories. Whether you want to help out with animals, sports, business, art, teaching, etc., there is definitely something for you to help out with. Check out Heart of Georgia Hospice and see if they have an opportunity for you to help others.
Additional Houston County Volunteer Opportunities
If you want to highlight other volunteer opportunities in Houston County GA, leave the link to the organization in the comments so others can find, research, and potentially volunteer their time.