Updated: Jul 1
Many of us can’t imagine the aftermath of a war. The pain of losing loved ones, suffering from wide-spread damage to communities, all while continuing to support families as well as rebuild society. This world-wide humanitarian crisis that World War II left us with created charitable efforts around the globe. Volunteers around the world stepped up to rebuild societies and people. In 1943, Canada recognized these humanitarian efforts by celebrating the first ever National Volunteer Week. The United States then followed suit with National Volunteer Month in 1974.
Thus creating the Humanitarian Movement, the future of our youth being at the forefront.
There are currently 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States of America. There are around 50,000 nonprofit organizations in Michigan, and over 1,000 in the City of Detroit.
That means that there are over 1,000 opportunities for us all to give back to our community.
For many, searching for organizations to volunteer your time with can be a bit daunting. When you do a Google search, after you scroll down past all of those pesky ads, you’re left with a massive list of organizations, news articles, and other internet craziness to sift through.
Here are a few things to include in your search to make it easier for you:
Search for a cause that is meaningful to you. This could be something like youth mentoring, music education, life skills programs, workforce development. It could also mean searching for organizations that serve a particular group of people such as young mothers, trauma survivors, youth with special needs, the elderly and more.
Search for organizations that align with a skill that you have. For example, if you are a cook, or if you’re just a relatively fit or strong person, search for organizations providing meals or distributing meals. If you were or are currently an athlete, search for organizations that host after school leagues.
Search for organizations that align with a service that you can provide. Even if you don’t already provide that service professionally, it can still be of great use. For example, if you enjoy caring for or watching after kids, you could search for after school programs in your area that might need childcare specialists. Narrow down your search even more if you are educated in or professionally practice other services such as teaching art, music, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, trade skills, athletics, coding, graphic design, basic computer skills, etc.
Search for organizations that may use or distribute a product that you can provide. Whether you have items to donate at home or you own a business that sells products, you can participate. After school and educational programs need everything from pencils and crayons, to books, to laptops, to wifi routers, to board games and more. Organizations that provide services to those experiencing homelessness and poverty need laundry detergent, laundry machines, hygiene products, diapers and formula, coats and boots in the winter, car seats, and more. On top of all that, organizations also need people who have small and large vehicles to pick up and transport these items that others may donate.
Think broadly about what you could do or provide, then narrow it down from there and start your search.
Want our recommendations for fellow Detroit nonprofits that could use a hand? We’ve got you. Check out this list of organizations in the area:
Ruth Ellis Center
Hashtag Lunchbag Detroit
Eastside Community Network
Inside Out Literary Arts
Detroit Justice Center
Detroit Mental Health
While COVID has changed a lot of things about the way Detroit Phoenix Center operates day-to-day, it hasn’t changed our commitment to serving those who are most vulnerable in Detroit.
We provide programming to our youth, such as our Life Skills Program and SOAR After School Enrichment Program, that we continue to develop partners with for services and products. We regularly host events that celebrate the youth and families we serve where childcare specialists and other volunteer services or products may be needed.
You can learn about the ways that you can service the community with us by visiting the volunteer tab and the services tab on our website: www.detroitphoenixcenter.org or following us on social media.