Volunteer

Together we hold the answers.
Please join us, and volunteer at Promise Neighborborhood of Central MN.
 
Ways to volunteer:
  • Youth Night
  • Summer Camp
  • Math Club
  • Reading Club
  • Girls Group
  • Community Events
    • Stop the Violence
    • Back to School
  • Grant Writing
  • Building/ Grounds Up-keep
  • Mentoring/Tutoring
If unable to volunteer your time, please consider donating:
  • Gently used clothing
  • Gift cards to local businesses
  • Office Supplies
  • School Supplies
  • Arts & Crafts Supplies
  • Teen & kid books
  • Cash Donations 
 
If interested in volunteering for Promise Neighborhood, please email Sheena Schraut at sheenapromiseneighborhood@gmail.com or call 320-251-0571.
 
Why Volunteer During Unemployment?
Volunteer positions are not trivial. The positions are vital to the good and improvement of a community.

Volunteering allows you to receive experience and training in potential career fields, whether in a related field or if your position leads to a paid postion.You will also be in the habit of work discipline, a habit that is often lost during prolonged periods of unemployment. Because of this, volunteer work will fill in gaps on your resume while strengthening it with recent work.

Volunteers are exposed to new perspectives and opportunities because volunteering allows a shift in priorities from constantly searching for a job and filling out applications to thinking outside of unemployment-based logic. The effect is reevaluation of scenarios, and at the very least a change of pace. You can then return to the job search with a new view and rejuvenated mind.

Volunteering maintains contacts in a work environment; you may also meet people in similar situations to yourself who may be able to suggest helpful resources—you can provide support for each other.

Volunteer employers are professionals. They will be able to help you, whether in your job search or personal struggles. They will be a valuable reference on the job applications; make sure to utilize this!

Why add volunteering to a resume?

Volunteering shows you are an involved citizen and committed to improving the community. Volunteer positions can be more relevant to the position you hope to acquire than paid work experience—share this with your potential employer to show your qualifications. Especially if looking for a first job or returning to the workforce, volunteer work shows work may convince your potential employer that you are worth the risk.

Place volunteer work under the “work experience” section of your resume because it was a productive experience and you learned something—translate volunteer work into the language of the paid work world. Also, use a more descriptive title than “Volunteer”. Be specific about what you did (tutor”, “project coordinator”).  Make sure to accurately represent your work. Do not overstate what you did , but also give yourself credit for accomplishments.

Describe your achievements as a volunteer; highlight what you learned and the skills you used. Did you supervise others? Or raise a specific amount of money? Analyze the skills you learned and recognize that they are applicable to many settings (public speaking, writing reports, planning project, training others, teamwork). The more you add to your resume, the more there will be to talk about during an interview and you will be able to make a good first impression.

Explore Career Opportunities

There is no long-term commitment to volunteering, so it is easy to explore new opportunities and decide if you want to pursue them further or not. Failure is allowed without harsh consequences.

If you have been out of the work force for a while, volunteering shows your desire to return and that your skills are still there or have been recently improved. Volunteering uses practical skills, which may be more valuable experience than skills from the classroom because they show your ability to function in a work environment.

Not all volunteer work constitutes as work experience!

The position must:
  • Place you in a setting you want to learn about.
  • Let you work with professional who you can observe and who can answer your questions.
  • Provide some sort of training.
  • Allow promotion to more challenging tasks so you can truly see your accomplishments and present those to a potential employer.

Other Reasons to Volunteer
  • Saves Resources! Volunteers allow money to be spent on other local improvements instead of staff. The average value of volunteering time is $22.14/hour.
  • Brings people together; volunteering unites people from diverse backgrounds in working towards a common goal
  • Strengthens your community; it supports families, improves schools, supports youth, and beautifies the community—supports the resources that support you!
  • Presents a new learning opportunity! You can discover hidden talents or passions, gain knowledge of the resources available in the community and how to work towards solving community  issues
  • Encourages Civic Responsibility
  • Connects you to others; you make relationship around a similar activity with like-minded individuals. You expand both social and professional networks.
  • Volunteering as a family has additional benefits. Your children will learn by watching. They will want to give back to others and promote change.
  • Volunteering is good for your mind and body! Self-confidence and self-esteem are increased: doing good for others provides a sense of accomplishment. Volunteers are proud of the work they do and find a sense of identity in their accomplishments. This provides a positive outlook on life and the desire to set goals for the future.
  • Studies have shown that volunteering combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in touch with others and removes the risk of social isolation. It also builds a support system to protect against stress and depression.
  •  If you find your volunteer work fun and easy, it may be a relaxing and energizing escape from your daily routine. It provides creativity, motivation, and vision that will carry over into your everyday life. Volunteering can easily overlap with your hobbies. It may be possible for you to spend the workday at your job, and the work in the community garden instead of your own, or help plan rather than just attend, or coach youth basketball one night a week instead of playing. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere, take advantage of them!
  • Volunteering allows you to have input on how to improve the community so improvement efforts are effective.

Tips for Volunteering

  • Do not wait to be asked—take the initiative and find a place that needs help!
  • If the organization wants an interview, plan for it like a job—be prepared to discuss why you want the position and what your qualifications are. An interview will allow the organization to find a position for you which best fits your talents and interests.
  • Volunteer with others!
  • You make a difference! Every person and every hour counts.

How to find the right volunteer opportunity

  • Find who you would like to work with and how you like to work i.e. alone or on a team, with the elderly or with children, with those in poverty or with health problems or behind the scenes or more visible. How much time can you commit? Responsibility? What are your skills? What causes are import to you?
  • Match you goals and interests with the organization to find the right one.

Where to find volunteer opportunities

  • Community theaters, museums, and monuments
  • Libraries, senior centers, intergenerational programs
  • Nonprofits and Service organizations; community kitchens and shelters
  • Youth organizations, sport teams, after-school programs
  • Historical restorations, national parks, park services, disaster relief organizations
  • Churches, or other religions organizations
  • Use online databases to search for a position near you: volunteermatch.org, volunteer.gov or idealist.org