Why is it so Hard to Volunteer?

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Why is it so hard to volunteer? I am going to jump on my soap box a little here, so I apologize in advance. I don’t mean to offend the great organizations out there that are doing the work to help those less fortunate in our communities. But I have been so disappointed in some of them recently that I need to take a minute to vent.

Why is it so Hard to Volunteer? There's Sugar in My Tea, Charlotte NC bloggers, Southern bloggers to follow.

Over the past several years that we have lived in Charlotte, my husband and I have worked with a few great nonprofits in the area on a volunteer basis. But over time, the organizations fizzled out or we moved making it too difficult to continue the partnership. I have been looking for new organizations to join for a long time and keep coming up empty handed.

We have been lucky to volunteer our time with Project HALO, the Monroe Animal Shelter and Hands on Charlotte. As I mentioned though, in the end we were unable to continue volunteering with these organizations for one reason or another and have been searching for new opportunities for quite some time. I have put in numerous applications and even talked to group leaders at community events. They claim they are in desperate need for new volunteers and do a lot to promote themselves, so I apply and then nada. They do not call back, they don’t email, our applications just go into the ether.

I have tried several different dog rescue groups who say they are overwhelmed with the number of dogs they are trying to foster and adopt out, so I check the box next to “available to foster” and never hear back from their office. We have extensive experience in this, so I would think my application looks pretty good. But nope, nothing.

One big animal rescue group in the area only posts dogs available for fostering on Facebook. Joining their private Facebook group was a nightmare. I kept getting accepted then kicked out, on the daily. Finally, they let me in permanently and I found that as soon as they post a photo of a dog, at least 10 people call dibs. So, I guess I have to be on Facebook 24/7 in order to stake my claim. This was too ridiculous.

I have also tried other routes at the local homeless shelter and domestic violence shelter. I even attended orientation at the women’s shelter and was told to check their social media for volunteer opportunities, as if I am on social media constantly just waiting for a sign-up sheet. I did receive a few emails from their office, but the opportunities were posted the day before the event and typically scheduled during the workday. That’s a no go.

Why is it so Hard to Volunteer?

So, I ask, seriously…. why is it so hard to volunteer? I am willing and able, do all the right things, but still have not found a legit way to volunteer my time in my local community. I understand that dealing with volunteers can be difficult. So many people are unreliable, and I am sure the turnover is less than fun to deal with, but what is going on here? Are the organizations that disorganized? Are the people in charge of volunteers that overwhelmed? I don’t know the answer, but I sit here typing this post as a discouraged volunteer wannabe.

One group that I have found to be organized and easy to work with is Lasagna Love. It is a national organization that provides a lasagna dinner to a family in need. It was easy to sign up for, I just filled out a quick online application and answered profile questions about how often I want to deliver a meal and how far I am willing to travel. A rep for North Carolina then matches me up with a family and I schedule the delivery directly with the family in my portal.

Lasagna Love combines my desire to volunteer with my love of cooking. I have delivered approximately 5 dinners to families right in my community over the past several months. It feels great to give back to those that live in my community. But I have a desire to do more. And as I get older, I have more time and resources to be more involved. So, what’s the deal?? Why is it so hard to give back and help others in a meaningful way?

Have you had a similar experience? Or do you volunteer regularly with a local nonprofit? I would love to hear about your experiences and if you have any tips on what I can do in 2023. Leave your feedback in a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

There's Sugar in My Tea, charlotte nc blog, southern lifestyle blog

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