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How can I get involved in volunteer work?

Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
Local volunteer opportunities abound, so spend time in a realm you enjoy. Try a senior center, park, school, religious organization, or political group you appreciate. Your workplace may organize volunteer projects—and may even offer a day of pay while you help out. Vacations that mix travel and volunteerism are another option. At disaster sites throughout the world, people with medical and building skills are especially welcome. The Internet has made volunteering easier. You can search for organizations you know and like, or nearby opportunities that could use an hour or day of your help, through Volunteer Match, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening communities; the U.S. government site Serve.Gov (www.serve.gov); and Senior Corps, which puts the expertise and energies of Americans over 55 to good use. Another good source is American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which has launched a Web site called Create the Good to help you match interests and abilities to needs in your community. The site also has step-by-step videos and do-it-yourself tool kits for people who wish to head up or handle alone big or small volunteer efforts like conserving energy, organizing a river cleanup, helping someone get a handle on medications or find public benefits, starting a giving circle, and more.

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