How To Volunteer From Home
It may seem ironic for a volunteer travel organisation to share stories around volunteering from home, but we like to support our local community and we like to share how you can support yours too!
There’s an endless list of initiatives that you can get involved in, so we’re focusing on ways the IVHQ Crew is volunteering from home to provide you with some inspiration!
Whether your expertise lies in social media, sports coaching, or anything in between, there are a number of community groups and charitable organizations that would benefit from your involvement! IVHQ supports the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust with annual donations and last week, I volunteered my time to assist the Trust in growing their social media presence. As the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust relies on community donations to fund its life-saving operation, social media provides a platform to share their rescue stories and inspire further support from the community. We’re stoked to see the support out there already for @TaranakiRescue on Twitter!
On the sports side, our IVHQ Global Programs Manager, Jamie-lee Reynolds, often returns to her Surf Lifesaving Club to undertake beach patrols and help coach the younger surf lifesavers to prepare for upcoming events. Our Program Quality Manager, Daniel Sharp is involved in coaching Boccia, a ball precision sport for people with physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy. IVHQ’s Hannah Hill-Parker is also involved in supporting Boccia New Zealand, namely through organizing successful fundraising events to support the players in attending national and international competitions. Likewise, IVHQ Program Manager, Kirsty Jamieson, donates her time to her local swim club through coaching and time-keeping during competitions.
Our Africa Program Manager, William Rowland, is an active member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Zealand program, which aims to make a difference in the lives of young people through professionally supported mentoring relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters is part of an international community, so if you’re interested in providing quality and committed mentoring to a young person who would benefit from your companionship, see if there’s a similar group operating in your community.
Volunteering your time to assist in a local soup kitchen is a rewarding way to volunteer from home. Volunteers are crucial to the functioning of these kitchens and ensuring they can meet their missions. You can join a weekly or monthly roster, allowing you to work alongside a team of volunteers serving the guests who visit the kitchen.
Our Colombia volunteer program provides a similar experience for IVHQers joining our Feeding the Homeless project in Bogota.
If you’re a keen traveler and would like to find a way to offset your carbon emissions from flying, you can seek opportunities to get involved in tree planting initiatives within your local community. If you contact your local council or an environmental organization, your support is sure to be appreciated!
To offset the carbon emissions from flying to visit our volunteer abroad programs, IVHQ is taking both a proactive and reactive approach, through supporting a nation-wide education program focused on sustainability within New Zealand schools in partnership with Enviro Schools, as well as offsetting our measurable carbon footprint via tree planting initiatives. To learn how you can offset your carbon emissions from flying to participate on our programs, check out our Carbon Footprint Calculator.
Volunteering your time to support the success of local community events is a fantastic and fun way to give back to your local community, mix with your neighbors, and support community-driven fundraising initiatives. Our Marketing Manager, Jordan McFadyen, is part of the voluntary Christmas At The Bowl committee and takes on the role of MC for the event, facilitating a popular celebration within our region. Our Administration Manager, Catherine Heads, is also taking a lead role in organizing the 150-year celebration for her local district in 2015.
Over and abroad, our Carnaval project in Brazil provides IVHQ volunteers with the opportunity to get involved in the biggest event on the Brazilian Calendar, as IVHQers join the local samba schools in preparing their costumes and floats for the world-renowned street parades!
Getting involved in annual charitable collections is a great way to help boost the efforts of a charity that you’re keen to support. This week, the IVHQ Crew was out in full force on the streets of New Plymouth to support the annual collections for the New Zealand Cancer Society. Our team collected an awesome $1,200 for the New Zealand Cancer Society in just three hours! It goes to show, a small donation of your time can equate to a sizeable sum from your efforts!
Anyone who has visited a friend or family member in an elderly home can understand how far a little company can go in these homes. Drop by an elderly home in your neighborhood and enquire whether your assistance can be of value to the staff and residents. I can say from experience that whether you’re helping out in the kitchen, or simply keeping the elders company, your involvement will be invaluable.
Joining forces with like-minded community members to contribute to improving the infrastructure of your local area is an ideal way to volunteer from home. IVHQ’s Kathryn Pilon was involved in building playgrounds for locals schools back in her home town in Australia and if you’re keen on making a similar contribution, ask around and see if your networks know of similar volunteering opportunities available in your home town.
Those interested in construction and renovation volunteer opportunities abroad are spoilt for choice with IVHQ - we have opportunities for your involvement in Bali, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Madagascar, Peru and Uganda.
Some say, why volunteer abroad when you can volunteer from home? We say, why not do both?!