How do I take the time to volunteer?
How much time should I expect to volunteer at a shelter to be useful?
Shelters and rescue workers cannot function without voluntary help. Any time you can give is appreciated. Each organization is a separate entity with different expectations, training, and responsibilities for volunteers. Volunteers are typically asked to commit from a few hours a month to four hours a week.
In reality; A large percentage of volunteers who attend initial training never return for follow-up care. Some give less time per month, many months, and others give a lot more hours than you'd expect from paid employees.
There are also many different types of shelter / rescue activities associated with direct animal care and cleaning that require volunteers with steady reliable availability at the facility. Event Support ( Fundraising, education, etc. ) is more suitable for volunteers who can respond on an ad hock basis. Socializing and caring for pets activities are perfect for volunteers with intermittent availability. For volunteers who have more time to give but need to do so from home, care is a good choice.
If you'd like to help, contact the organization, take introductory training, and honestly discuss what time you have available and what tasks you want to help with. They want your help and you want to give it. Large organizations will employ one or more paid staff to adjust the availability of volunteers to meet needs. Small organizations may have volunteers who customize other volunteers to suit their needs.
Most recently, I work with the training and induction of new volunteers in local organizations. The orientation training is exactly that an orientation. It is unrealistic to expect everyone who takes part in it to realize that the reality of volunteering is exactly what they expected. Those who do not stick around to volunteer their time often find other ways to expand the support.
Include how much time you have, what tasks are appropriate for your workout and comfort. When the time comes when volunteering is no longer enriching your life, move on. This is really all any group can hope for from their volunteers.
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