What does community service mean to you?

Michelle Hale
Greater Nevada Credit Union
As Greater Nevada’s Community Outreach Supervisor, I have the opportunity to connect with a variety of organizations that share Greater Nevada’s passion for helping more people live greater.  There are many worthy causes worth supporting, and many different ways to support them. In my experience, those who get (and give) the most from their community service understand what they are passionate about, how they can help, and what they can commit to.
Although the options are almost endless when it comes to community service, here are some things to consider. 

What cause or causes are you passionate about?

Many causes are geared toward helping people, animals, or the environment, and then there are many categories within those, while others address multiple areas. The key is to identify something specific to your interests. For example, do you want to help people reach their full potential or overcome challenges? If so, you might want to look into organizations such as Special Olympics Nevada, Truckee Meadows Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, or even your local schools, hospitals, and libraries.

Do you love being around animals?  The Nevada Humane Society, SPCA, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife are just a few of many organizations that help local pets and wildlife. If protecting the environment is important to you, programs such as Adopt-A-Highway provide a way to reduce debris along our roads, while the Nature Conservancy focuses on protecting our lands and waters.
For more volunteer opportunities visit volunteermatch.org.

What opportunities best fit your skills and interest?

Coaching, teaching, cleaning, fundraising, walking, creating…the list of things you can do to volunteer with an organization are endless. You can apply your current skills and experience, or you can take on opportunities to expand your knowledge base. In fact, community service can provide you with valuable job skills and experience, including organization, sales, and management, while expanding your contact network.

Community service is also a great way to keep busy, stay involved and build new friendships. And depending on what you sign up for, it can also be a fun way to give back and stay fit at the same time.

What can you commit to?

For some people, volunteering becomes their full time focus, giving them a sense of purpose and connection. For others, it can be a way to make a difference, even when their availability is limited. The important thing is that you find something that is a good fit, because organizations depend on their volunteers. According to an article in Forbes, an amazing volunteer is, among other things, passionate yet professional, collaborative, committed, and focused more on what they can give than what they can gain.

For some of us lucky enough to have employers that value community service, giving back is a way of life. At Greater Nevada, we not only support employee volunteerism, we support our communities at large through volunteerism, fundraising, and more.