Volunteer with your dog!
Believe it or not, the “new year” is no longer all that new. So, how is that resolution to volunteer your time to help out in the community going? I know, I know – you have a lot going on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in a bit of volunteer activity. Check out all the opportunities listed on Activate Good’s website, and here are three simple steps to get you started:
1. Let yourself off the hook.
We’re all doing the best we can. So don’t be hard on yourself for not getting involved in a volunteer activity yet. Just because you haven’t done it yet doesn’t mean you never will.
2. Start small.
Volunteering doesn’t mean giving up entire chunks of your day. It doesn’t take a lot of time to make a big difference. Just find something small that needs to be done, and do it. (More on that below.)
3. Add a dog.
Everything’s more fun with a pup! And they love to help out.
Here are a few ways you can volunteer with your dog to help out in the community.
Every neighborhood could use a bit of trash pick-up. How about turning every walk with Rex (are there any dogs named Rex anymore?) into a neighborhood beautification stroll? When you grab the leash, just grab a trash bag, too.
Share the (puppy) love:
Almost any dog can be a therapy dog. They bring joy to nursing homes, hospitals, and many other facilities. And the certification process is simple—you can learn more here.
Brighten someone’s day remotely:
Even in a post-pandemic world, remote visits will still be welcome. You can see how Jagger the Goldendoodle does it here.
Pen, paper, and pooch:
Since the onset of the pandemic, levels of loneliness and isolation have only increased. A simple letter in the mail can brighten someone’s day and help them feel connected to others. Including a story about your pup—along with an adorable picture—can result in an even bigger smile. Learn how to get started with Letters Against Isolation.
No pup? No problem.
If you don’t have a pooch in the house, you’ll be welcome at your local animal shelter or rescue group. Dogs are social animals, and human companionship is essential to their happiness. (Spending time with you also helps improve their socialization skills, which makes them more likely to be adopted.) Here’s a link to Activate Good’s animal-focused community partners and a few examples:
- SPCA of Wake County, NC: https://spcawake.org/get-involved/volunteer/
- Humane Society: https://www.humanesociety.org/volunteer
- Private groups: https://www.dogloversdigest.com/adoption/state-list-of-shelters-and-rescue-organizations/
Remember, making volunteering a part of your life doesn’t require loads of your valuable time. Check out a variety of opportunities at ActivateGood.org/opportunity! It also doesn’t need to mean time away from your favorite four-legged friend. Volunteer with your dog and doing even a little bit of good is still doing good!