Simple Ways to Include Volunteering in Your Life


Filed under Work & Volunteering

Whether it’s cooking a meal for the homeless or helping tutor a child, there are many ways to give back to those who are in need. But sometimes the hardest part about volunteering is finding the time and the right opportunity to get involved.

A recent national survey commissioned by McDonald’s, as part of its support of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), reveals that less than half of Americans (45 percent) currently volunteer their time to charity. While most people recognize the importance of volunteering, they do not prioritize it in their daily lives. An overwhelming majority of respondents (93 percent) believe that it is important to promote volunteerism among today’s youth; yet more than half of Americans admit that they’d prefer to spend their free time reading, watching television or even visiting their in-laws than volunteering for charity (51 percent versus 8 percent).

“It’s important to instill volunteerism at a young age,” says Julie Foudy, former U.S. Olympic soccer player. “I follow this philosophy at my own Sports Leadership Academy, where campers learn that sports and leadership go hand in hand. We actually host a volunteer day, where our campers visit places like the Ronald McDonald House to show the importance of giving back to those in need.”

The most commonly cited barrier to volunteering is a perceived lack of free time (49 percent). Others say that they haven’t found a charity they want to get involved with (16 percent) or that they simply don’t know how to get involved (8 percent). The survey also shed light on what inspires Americans to volunteer, with 42 percent stating that they look for a personal connection to a charity and an additional 40 percent citing involvement in their community as a driving force. Nearly one in ten Americans say they got involved in volunteering because their employer encourages it (9 percent).

“It is always important to remember those who need help and find a way to give back to your local community,” says Marty Coyne, RMHC president and CEO. “We realize, however, that between work and family it can be challenging to find the time. That is why, at RMHC, we believe in offering a variety of opportunities that fit into our volunteers’ active lives.”

There are a number of easy ways in which people can

contribute their time and get involved through RMHC. A few simple ways that people can make a difference include:

• Pick up the phone — Just make a call to the volunteer coordinator at your local RMHC chapter and ask how you can help with one of their programs, such as Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

• Be a chef for a day — Get a few people together and call your local Ronald McDonald House or Ronald McDonald Family Room. A nice home-cooked meal can go a long way to helping families who are caring for seriously ill children feel more at home.

•Bring the movie theater to a Ronald McDonald House/Ronald McDonald Family Room — Bring a wide variety of movies, pop some popcorn, and invite families to join in the fun.

• Exercise your green thumb — Help maintain the garden areas to brighten the space for the families at a local Ronald McDonald House.

• Get rid of loose change — For those who are unable to volunteer their time, simply drop off some change in an RMHC collection canister at your local participating McDonald’s restaurant.

Visit for more information on community programs and local volunteer initiatives.

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

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