👋 Alissa here. Ever wanted to do something outside of your comfort zone but felt too intimidated to take the first step?
- I thought about volunteering for years, but assumed I didn’t have enough free time to make a real impact.
Driving the news: I recently became a Columbus Humane cat care volunteer – through an extensive but not at all daunting training process.
How it works: We play with cats and monitor their behavior with careful notes. Many shelter animals are naturally stressed, but if kept comfortable and socialized they are more likely to be adopted.
- I schedule two-hour shifts at my convenience at least twice a month.
The big picture: About 90% of Americans want to volunteer, but only 25% actually do so, according to Stanford University.
- With the pandemic shutdowns behind us, many nonprofits are still working to replenish volunteers as activities resume, their leaders tell Axios.
- Meanwhile, flexible work-from-home hours are freeing up many potential volunteers – including me – to help out for the first time.
😺 Quick take: On my first shift last weekend, the cats embodied how many of us feel when trying something new.
- Some are fearless, like Cindi, who leapt out of her doghouse and into my lap.
- But many others are like Princess Peep, who needed to be cajoled and encouraged before she found the confidence to go out.
😻 In the end, both cats were adopted and I’m proud to have played a small part.
The bottom line: Volunteering is a great way to connect with like-minded people and give back — and it’s never too late to take that first step. These groups list many local opportunities:
And after: Columbus Humane’s next volunteer orientation will be August 30th. Opportunities range from washing up and greeting visitors to photography and caring for animals.
📬 We want to know: What are your favorite ways to give back? Click reply!