BRIGHT.LIFE

    Volunteering: Why September Is A Great Month To Start

    // Sponsored by State Farm® and all views are, as always, my own.

    Can you believe that September is here? I was just saying to my heart mate last night that this year has felt like the fastest year I can remember. This time of year always feels like a ‘reset’ moment. Yes, many of us are back to school, back to work, back to the routine, yet the change in seasons, the start of a new term, or returning to work invigorated from a summer break all lead to the opportunity to consider trying something new, too. This is the perfect time of year to be thinking about volunteering and being a good neighbor, not only because September 28th is Good Neighbor Day! All month long there are plenty of easy ways to get involved and help others. Even dedicating just a small amount of time to help others, such as while attending music festivals or during your lunch hour at work, can make a huge difference to those in need.

    For me, this was as simple as clearing out my closet so I could donate the items that were just sitting there unused. I live close to a church that runs a project distributing clothing to those in need, and also people who have job interviews but don’t have anything suitable to wear. I had a good rummage through my closet and found several jackets, shirts and shoes to donate. It took me only an hour but I hope it will make a big difference to someone else’s life and job application process. Plus, it’s good for the environment. Doing something neighbourly this fall doesn’t have to mean a big commitment; by committing just a couple of hours to help someone else you can make a huge difference.

    At this time of year there are lots of volunteering opportunities across the country, including The Backpack Project in Georgia, which help homeless children with school supplies for the new school year. Many similar programs run across the country so do check out the State Farm Neighborhood of Good® website to find opportunities in your local area.

    If you have already donated clothing or other goods, why not think about helping out in a re-use store? I have volunteered a few times with Habitat for Humanity and through those experiences I learned that their local chapters across the country have many ReStores. They have multiple locations that need volunteers to help customers, arrange the stores, sort through donations etc. This is a perfect way to take donating a little further by helping out in a store once a week, or even a few times a month. The great part of this volunteering opportunity is how the ReStores often have flexible time slots, and they allow you to sign up to shifts with friends or family. I know from experience that volunteering with friends and family is such a lovely thing to do. Interested? Here is a listing in Connecticut or click through to the State Farm Neighborhood of Good and search in your area.

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