The Lesson

My son recently came home from school and reminded me that April 10th through the 16th is National Volunteer Week, and he wanted to know if there were any opportunities for us to volunteer together. So we decided to check out a few of the websites which were listed on the brochure he had received.

A Different Way to Volunteer
Our first visit was to the HandsOn Network website where we stumbled upon a page which discussed Skills-based Volunteering, otherwise known as SBV. In the past I’ve written about the importance of volunteering, but this was the first time I had heard of the term SBV. HandsOn says that SBV is about, “Connecting the volunteer with the right skills to the right project at the right time …”

Makes sense. If we’re going to volunteer, we might as well do so in a way that uses our unique gifts so that we can have the biggest impact.

In the past, I’ve helped package food for Meals from the Heartland, build walls for Habitat for Humanity, and pick up litter on the side of the road, but in retrospect, I’m not certain that I’ve ever tried to purposefully match my skills, interests, and abilities to a specific volunteer opportunity. Instead, I just signed up for random events.

Finding Something that Needs Done
After SBV 101, we moved on to I really like this website because all you need to do is plug in your zip code and you’ll be provided with a list of opportunities within your area. A simple entry of my zip code returned 205 opportunities within a 20-mile radius and it was only a matter of minutes before my son had us registered for our volunteer event.

The Challenge

It’s been said that, “Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.” Your challenge this week is to identify at least one opportunity to “do more” within the next 90 days.

If possible, find an event which will use your unique gifts and abilities so that you can make a skills-based connection. A great way to find your “do more” challenge is the same way we did: By using VolunteerMatch’s online search engine.

The Reflection

1.    If you volunteer, what is the most important thing you look for when seeking an opportunity to give back?
2.    If you have never volunteered, what is holding you back?

You can share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

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Published bimonthly, collector mentor is a quick-read publication dedicated entirely to delivering articles and practical advice that teaches credit and collection professionals how to increase collection results, enhance productivity, improve teamwork, and become better stewards of the industry.

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