Sometimes, you just need something to take your mind off of your own life. Something to put life back into perspective, to remind you that there are good things in the world and that you can be a part of making those good things happen. They say “Happiness shared is happiness multiplied,” and volunteering is a good way to achieve that. Thankfully, Columbus Ohio has no shortage of volunteer opportunites.
Homeless shelters are always in need of help- be it with the preparation of food or the acquisition of supplies, there’s always some way to provide assistance. With approximately 30,000 homeless or displaced people in Ohio at any given time (with that number increasing daily) their needs are many. If you’re short on time to donate, they can always use new, unopened toiletries, bedding, clothing (especially brand new underclothes) and toys for the children. Some shelters, such as Rebeccas’ Place Homeless Womens’ Shelter (614-474-3587) or Choices for Women (614-224-4663) are only outfitted to accept women and children. There is also the Faith Mission Emergency Shelter for Men (888-474-3587), or The Homeless Families Foundation Shelter and Services (614-253-7970) for couples or families. There are also food pantries and soup kitchens around the city that can use volunteers and food items. To offer time or services, please feel free to call any of these Shelters and they can direct you to what they need most for their occupants at that particular time, or to a shelter or organisation that fits your abilities.
With school starting soon, some of these children (and thousands of other low-income children) will be needing clothes to wear to school. Charity Newsies sees to this need, but they cannot do it without donations. At www.CharityNewsies.com, you are given the mailing address for donations and also directed to their Clothe A Child program- for $140, you can completely outfit a school-aged child with a coat, hat gloves, backpack, underwear, shirts pants socks and shoes. There’s also information on their yearly charity auction, with100% of all proceeds being used to provide clothing for the children.
Some days, you just feel like you’re making no difference in the world. It’s not hard to find ways to change the world for at least one person. If these opportunities aren’t quite what you’re looking for, ask around. Chances are you can’t throw a pebble in Columbus without hitting someone who may just have that idea that sparks your fire to volunteer- imagine what good you could do with a little bit of enthusiasm, and how good you would feel knowing what you’ve done for someone else. These things we take for granted are someone elses’ dreams.