Some time ago, while aimlessly browsing the Web, I found a photo of Ben Stiller (admittedly not one of my favorite actors) who was apparently volunteering at a soup kitchen set up for victims of last year’s Hurricane Sandy. You can see that the photo is a bit blurry, since it was taken by some random person instead of a professional photographer—it wasn’t a publicity stunt, the actor simply came to help, to volunteer his time and energy for a worthwhile cause.
And actually, that’s not such a bad thing to do on a weekend, don’t you think?
See, giving money to charity is a noble thing to do, but more often than not, charities are also short of manpower. This is where we can come in. Yes, we. Spending a Saturday or Sunday doing volunteer work can be good for the body and the soul. It often involves a lot of hard work, you obviously won’t get paid, and sometimes your contribution might even go unrecognized. But at the end of the day, you know you’ve used the gifts that you’ve been given to make a difference for those in need.
It might sound bothersome, and true enough, a lot of people have found volunteer work to be all pain and no gain. Yet, thousands of others have gone on to become regular volunteers.
If you are interested, or perhaps just curious of what kind of volunteer work you might be able to do, you could always start at the Indonesian Red Cross—there’s a page on their official website detailing their volunteer programs. Or you could take a look at university campuses (a lot of them have student volunteer corps), nursing homes (just a brief visit, even from a complete stranger, can mean a lot to the old folks living there), local art studios (if you can, say, play guitar, maybe you can also help teach, no?), or even animal shelters. Who knows, you might find you life’s calling…