It’s a common resolution that this year (or this season, or next season, or next year…) will be the year of giving back to the community. Louisville is full of people in need, and as a new contributor to the world of community service, it can be tough to decide exactly where you ought to lend a hand. That’s where this list comes in handy--whether you’re an animal lover, a caregiver at heart, or a student in search of volunteer hours for the coming school year and a broadened worldview, there’s no shortage of places and people that could use your help. This can help get you started, but let us know in the comments where else would be worth at least an afternoon of your time.
1. For the people person: Dare to Care and more
Image courtesy of daretocare.org
Louisville is full of opportunities to help people in need--why not give one of them a bit of your time? Beyond the donation spots for canned goods, clothes, medical supplies and other drop-off spots, don’t forget about locations like Dare to Care Inc. (502-866-3821), Wayside Christian Mission (502-584-3711), Neighborhood House (502-774-2322), and many, many more. These opportunities range from holidays only to monthly to weekly, or as often as you have some free time to spare, so give one of these locations a call and investigate the requirements for volunteers and fill out any necessary applications. Additionally, many soup kitchens and donation centers will accept children and teens as volunteers, and what could be a better use of a little vacation time? Whether you’re sorting nonperishables or preparing meals, plenty of Louisvillians would welcome your help.
2. For the animal lover: Kentucky Humane Society
Image courtesy of kyhumane.org
3. For the reader: Louisville Free Public Library
Image courtesy of Facebook.com
Calling all readers! Working as a library volunteer is something that might not come to mind at first when brainstorming ways to give back to the community, but the Louisville Free Public Library is always on the lookout for some extra help! With 18 locations throughout the Louisville area, including Fairdale, Jeffersontown, Middletown, St. Matthews, Shively, and more, there’s almost always a spot near you. For questions about adult volunteer opportunities, call 502-574-1712 or visit http://www.lfpl.org/forms/volunteers/volunteer.htm to get some answers. Depending on the location and number of volunteers currently working, number of openings may vary. Rearing to go? Grab an application http://www.lfpl.org/forms/volunteers/volunteer.htm and get started.
4. For the caregiver: St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital
Image courtesy of sjbhealth.org
There are so many Louisville hospitals in need of caring volunteers, and St. Joseph’s Children’s is one of them. With opportunities ranging from quilting (you can learn from the experts if you don’t already know how) to more direct assistance as a worker in the Child Development Center or with the residents of St. Joseph’s during lunches, afternoon exercises, arts and crafts and much more. Read more about the hospital’s volunteer opportunities here http://www.sjkids.org/donate_volunteers.php and download your application and background check permission forms. Your help would be much appreciated.
5. For the artist: Kentucky Center for the Arts
Image courtesy of kentuckycenter.org
The Kentucky Center knows volunteers. With over 500 people currently serving as ticket takers, tour guides, information desk attendants, greeters, and more, you can be sure to fit some time in your busy schedule--and do it in a beautiful space. With volunteer opportunities divided into four categories (Apprentice, Chorus, Conductor and Producer volunteer programs) based on time commitments and number of volunteers, you can invest up to 80 hours of service per year--or more--to the arts in Louisville. Registration is currently open for 2014-2015 volunteer training, so go to http://www.kentuckycenter.org/AboutUs/Volunteer or call (502)566-5241 to get involved.
Don’t forget--this is a list of ideas to get you started giving back! Louisville is home to many people and places in need of a helping hand, so let us know in the comments where else could use some contribution.
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