Written by: Sami Sheehan
I want to be a better person.
I wish I could do more to help causes that are meaningful to me.
I work too much, I don’t have time to volunteer.
If you’re like me, I thought that I didn’t have time to help causes that are meaningful to me. Most local organizations advertise the volunteer roles that require consistent shifts during business hours.
That wasn’t going to work for me. As a young professional, I can’t take off hours during the workday to walk dogs or sort food donations. I started to sneak my volunteerism into different sections of my life. At Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, alone, there are a few ways that you can help the animals without straying from your daily routine.
Become a Donation Box Volunteer
You run errands almost every day–you’re picking up dry cleaning, shopping for jeans, getting your haircut, or buying a bottle of wine for a dinner party. There is a cash register at every one of those stops. You can easily build a relationship with a business you already visit to leave a donation box that will benefit a community organization. For example, Lollypop Farm has a donation box volunteer program that gives you tools and support to collect loose change. Once a month, when you’re already visiting, you can pick up the donations from the supplied “dog house” box and drop them off at Lollypop Farm. Nickels and dimes add up to make lifesaving care possible for cats, dogs, horses, small pets, and farm animals!
Go on a shopping spree—for pets!
Many organizations have wish lists of items they need on their website. Some even make it easier by connecting their wish list right to Amazon. For example, you can purchase exactly what Lollypop Farm needs whether it’s kitten formula or hamster balls. The best part—you don’t have to figure out how to drop it off! Your order is shipped right to the organization.
Ask What’s Needed
Many volunteer opportunities listed on an organization’s website are general requests. Many times, there might be a specific need that might not be listed. Reach out to the organization’s volunteer coordinator and let them know what type of skills you have that you can share. Are you a great copy-writer? Ask them if you could help them write fundraising letters. Do you know Photoshop? Ask them if they need any flyers designed. There are definitely ways you can share your skills that doesn’t require you to step foot in the organization’s doors.
You can definitely sneak philanthropy into your daily routine! Many organizations need support in ways that don’t require you visit the organization on a regular basis. Supplying an hour of your time through a passive volunteer opportunity like the donation box program will not only help the animals, it will help you grow even deeper roots in the Flower City!
Guest Blogger: Sami Sheehan
Sami is the Individual Giving Manager, also known as “the Direct Mail lady,” at Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. As a Rochester native, Sami spends her time volunteering, hiking with her dog Winston (pictured with Sami, left) and perfecting the ultimate instagram picture.