Non-profits experience a natural surge in volunteers between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. In fact, holiday volunteering has gotten so popular that some organizations fill their November/December volunteer slots within just hours or days after making sign-ups open to the public.
But while certainly grateful for the increased interest and donations, these organizations wish they could somehow extend the outpouring of support to slower times, particularly when volunteer numbers dry up after New Year’s. This is one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations that rely on volunteers to offset costs. So while November and December may seem like the thoughtful time to give, and January may seem like the logical time to create a new good habit, spring and summer are actually the perfect time to plug in and volunteer!
Atlanta Humane Society
The Atlanta Humane Society just opened a new, larger location in Duluth and needs volunteers to help socialize dogs and cats on a daily basis. In other words, you get to play with puppies and kitties all day! New volunteers will experience an orientation session and progress to working with a volunteer mentor to ensure that everyone understands what is required. Those who come on board are asked to make a minimum six-month commitment and are required to be at least 18 years old. Those under age 18 who wish to contribute are encouraged to host a Wish List Drive to help collect daily items needed to better care for the animals.
Gwinnett County Public Libraries
Have a bibliophile in your midst? Love to read aloud to dozens of enthralled youngsters? Is your motto, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”? The Gwinnett County Library System has dozens of volunteer opportunities that vary by branch, including preparing crafts, being a Reading Buddy, assisting ESL speakers and tutoring. Take it from someone who already volunteers: re-stocking the shelves is incredibly soothing and zen-like. (At least for anal-retentive organizers such as myself.) And, if you love sewing, robotics, coding, 3D printing, videography, audio recording or graphic design, then come volunteer with the GCPL Learning Labs! Makerspaces are equipped with a wide variety of creative technologies that help library patrons turn ideas into a reality. The minimum age for volunteers is 13.
North Gwinnett Co-Op
Most non-profits report the summer as their slowest season for volunteers, which is particularly harmful to organizations that serve children. When school lets out, students lose out on free and reduced meals, which means food banks and pantries have to be prepared to address the need. The North Gwinnett Cooperative is a ministry that provides food, clothing, financial assistance and spiritual support, bridging the gaps for critical needs of families and providing services to aid in finding a path to self-sufficiency. The organization is dependent on volunteers for day-to-day operations. Volunteers help by sorting donations, stocking shelves, organizing in the thrift store and assisting clients as needed. The minimum age of a volunteer is seven years old.
There is a volunteer opportunity for every age, interest and skill set! Visit Volunteer Gwinnett at GwinnettCounty.com for an extensive list of needs throughout the county.