It’s Make a Difference week, and with the holidays just around the corner there is no better time to start giving back. Giving back can simply mean helping out a neighbor or buying a meal for a homeless person in need, or you could devote a few hours volunteering virtually anywhere! Either way, there’s no feeling or greater satisfaction like helping others. It’s basically human nature. We live busy lives, and as college students we can barely afford to help ourselves, but regardless, dedicating time to help others is priceless, and La Crosse offers a variety of ways to do so. Grab a few friends and make a day of it!
1. Salvation Army
The Salvation Army offers many volunteer opportunities to make a difference. Visit their website to volunteer in areas that include the Meal Program, Food Pantry, office work, bell ringing, drivers, the Thrift Store, landscaping, special projects and more.
2. Habitat for Humanity-La Crosse Area
Habitat for Humanity helps reconstruct and build homes for families living in unsuitable conditions. You don’t have to be a skilled construction worker to help out. Volunteers are trained on site to help with hammering, painting, measuring, cutting wood and other miscellaneous tasks. The best part is your reward is very tangible and you can see the progress you have made at the end of the day!
3. The Hunger Task Force
Volunteer as a truck driver or simply a warehouse volunteer to help load and unload truck, sort and weigh food and assist agencies with pick ups. Office and garden volunteer opportunities are also available!
4. African American Mutual Assistance Network, Inc.
If you love kids and love teaching this is a great opportunity for you! Help kids learn how to read and improve their literacy skills with Clara Fields Multicultural Pre-K to 3rd Grade Literacy Program!
5. Mentor a child
Kids and Mentors Outdoors (KMO) works to get children ages 9-17 outdoors and experience the joys of nature. Mentors can help out with group activities or be matched with a child for ongoing periodic outdoor adventures. Take them hiking, canoeing, biking, fishing, anything outdoors! Build a relationship with a child that will generate a reward that will last a lifetime.
6. American Cancer Society
Volunteer in support programs that provide assistance to cancer patients. This involves helping patients get transportation to treatment, providing information to patients and one-on-one support through Reach to Recovery, helping them deal with appearance-related side effects and providing lodging.
7. Causeway Caregivers
Causeway Caregivers gives you opportunities to volunteer with tasks such as raking, cleaning out gutters, shoveling, shopping and running errands for people and visiting people in their homes or taking them out to do activities in the community.
8. The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection
The mission of The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection is to provide services to foster understanding and build connections on issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity to the 7 Rivers Region through education, events and programming. Volunteers can help with operational support, committee work, outreach, special events and more.
There are many ways to volunteer in La Crosse, and it doesn’t have to be on the list. Any organization would most likely be willing to take in volunteers! It’s the little things in life; making a difference doesn’t have to take much. Like they say, a little bit goes a long way!