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Take A Step Back and Volunteer: It May Help You More Than You Realize

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own worlds because all of us have those never-ending days, where one thing just leads to another and there is no time to even take a breath. And it’s up to us to create that time (or force it in somewhere) to allow ourselves to just be and finally get some rest. I want to encourage you to use this time, no matter how little it is or however sparsely it comes, to try and help others because soon you’ll realize that by helping them, you actually helped yourself more than anyone. 

Volunteer options are everywhere, so you don’t really have to go looking too far for them. Go to your local homeless shelter and offer your help, whether it be through donations or a bit of hands-on work; anything you do will go a long way. Volunteer at a local senior center, where you can enjoy getting to know others and playing games with them all while brightening their day more than you could have imagined. And if local options don’t work for you, with modern technology even online volunteering options are available. Online tutoring for children from underserved communities is a great way to put your knowledge to work while helping others obtain theirs. 

To make it even easier, I’ve compiled a list of volunteer opportunities for you to choose from: 

  1. Step Up Tutoring (remote)
    • Step Up Tutoring is a non-profit organization with the goal of decreasing education inequality. They work with volunteer tutors to help children of underserved communities gain the education help they need. This program is completely online, and only requires about 1-2  hours per week for 1 on 1 virtual tutoring. 
  2. Reading to Kids
    • Organized monthly on the second Saturday of every month, Reading to Kids is a great reading program dedicated to helping underserved children connect with their love of reading.
  3. International Women’s Resource Center
    • A support program for both immigrant and refugee women, this program teaches, supports and provides opportunities for women and their families. They offer classes, workshops and many other resources for adult education, literacy and more. 
  4. People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
    • As an organization working toward ending homelessness and assisting others in their time of need, PATH provides a multitude of opportunities for you to get involved. You can work at either a group or individual level,  as kitchen support, donations and much more.

And if none of these seem particularly interesting to you or are not in your area, here’s a resource to find other options.

You’ll feel the joy of making someone else’s day that much easier. You’ll feel grateful for all that you have and everything that is promised to you tomorrow. You’ll feel a sense of lightness for spreading any amount of goodness. At the end of the day, volunteering of any sort is a great way to change lives and make yours that much better.

Kajal is a second year political science major at UCLA . In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and occasionally crocheting.