I am accidentally celebrating Giving Tuesday today. A couple weeks back I signed up to attend the Sierra Club's Outing volunteer training. I am really excited to help give my time and make sure Bay Area kids have access to outdoor adventures.
But attending this training comes after several months of unsuccessfully trying to give my time to the Girl Scouts. Now that doesn't mean I won't end up doing some work with them too, but as of yet they haven't assigned me. Though I am fully vetted and background checked.
This trial lead to a really interesting conversation about why it is hard to volunteer with our friend Mariah Bozeman. She has worked in development for a bunch of Bay Area non-profits like the Symphony and the Asian Art museum according to her and Volunteer Match nonprofits are just a bit disorganized, and many don't have great processes or resources set aside to maximize the value of volunteers.
Though I think some organizations are working to solve this problem. I wanted to give a little love to an organization that has made a big impact in this area. New York Cares has done an awesome job of helping local organizations better leverage helping hands through workforce planning among other initiatives.
And I also want to ask all of us volunteers including myself to have a little patience and persistence because giving time is really worth it. If you are looking for ways to help get families or kiddos into the outdoors here are a few options to think about.
Places to Volunteer and Help Give Kids Access to the Outdoors
(If you think of more spots please share in the comments)