Being a good neighbor extends beyond your neighborhood

Jan 6, 2022, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:11 pm
(Shutterstock Photo)...
(Shutterstock Photo)
(Shutterstock Photo)

VolunteerHub reports that one out of four American’s donate their time to organizations with missions they believe in. According to a United States Census Bureau study, 62.6 million people volunteered in 2015 alone.

Volunteering, as explained by, helps the community by enabling nonprofit organizations to provide food, shelter, and services for the less fortunate.

These organizations can cut costs when volunteers complete tasks that reduce the need for paid personnel. The cost savings created by volunteers also means more money can be allocated to local improvement projects.

Volunteers provide day care and elder care to families that may not be able to afford these valuable services without assistance.

For example, Duet Arizona and the Neighbors Care Alliance (NCA) are neighborhood volunteer programs with a shared mission of helping older adults thrive safely in their homes for as long as possible.

Volunteers support older adults through a variety of services which can include, transportation to medical appointments and shopping, running errands, meal delivery, phone calls and visits, light house and yard work, and caregiver respite. Neighbors connecting to neighbors can reduce the social isolation many older adults face while helping to meet everyday needs.

Schools are strengthened when volunteers donate time and resources to tutor students, building literacy and knowledge. Support for youth through mentoring and after-school programs helps build the self-esteem and personal growth of community youth, thus encouraging them to become strong citizens and future volunteers. Contact your local school district to find out how you can serve.

What’s in it for you

Volunteering doesn’t have to be 100% altruistic. You should get something out of it too. lists these as some of the top personal benefits of volunteering.

1. Find a sense of purpose: Find your purpose through volunteering and becoming part of something greater than yourself.

2. Provides a sense of community: Volunteering can help you feel connected to those you are helping in the community.

3. Meet new friends: Volunteering is a great way to meet new friends as well as strengthen existing connections with friends, family, or coworkers. As a volunteer, you’ll typically interact with people from diverse backgrounds, which allows you to learn other perspectives.

4. Increases your social skills: Volunteering gives you a chance to talk to new people and sharpen your social skills.

5. Improves self-esteem: Volunteering may boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you do something you feel is worthwhile and valuable for your community, it gives you a sense of accomplishment that may help you feel more fulfilled about your life and any future goals.

6. Teaches you valuable skills: The training and hands-on experience you gain while volunteering can help you learn new skills and build upon ones you already have. You can then put these skills on your resume to show employers how you build relationships outside of work in addition to any personal interests that can set you apart from other candidates.

7. Provides job prospects: Along with acquiring valuable skills and experience, you may also meet people while volunteering who can become your mentors or at least a part of your professional social network.

8. Brings fun into your life: Many people use volunteering to pursue their hobbies while making a difference. For example, if you’re interested in the outdoors, you might volunteer at your community garden or a children’s summer camp.

9. Can help you be happier: It often feels good to contribute to projects and organizations that mean something to you. These good feelings can help lessen the effects of stress, anger, or anxiety. Volunteering may provide the tools you need to be a happy and well-rounded individual. Building bonds and connections with people you volunteer with also may counteract any social isolation. Many volunteer opportunities also may involve physical labor to keep you active and reduce stress.

10. Gets you out of your comfort zone: Through volunteer work, you may overcome the personal challenges of leaving your comfort zone and doing something new with people you may not know. You may be faced with various problems to solve as a volunteer that require you to exercise critical thinking skills that aid your own personal development.

Finding volunteer opportunities

Before seeking volunteer opportunities, there are some things to consider.

1. What causes do you care about — animals, children, the elderly, education, etc.?

2. What skills and knowledge can you offer?

3. How often and how many hours at a time can you volunteer?

4. Do you have the means to get to the volunteer site?

5. Do you have any physical or mental limitations?

6. What did you enjoy or not enjoy about previous volunteering experiences?

Once those questions have been answered, it’s time to find an organization to lend your time to. Ask friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues for suggestions. Great Nonprofits, and Volunteer Match are helpful places to look. You never know when an opportunity will present itself.

“I had never heard of Moon & Stars Animal Rescue,” says Susan, a ROTH staff member. “While my carpets were being cleaned, the technician commented about my cats – which is why my carpets were being cleaned. He said his friend volunteered with a rescue that was in dire need of fosters and gave me her number. I’ve been volunteering with the rescue for more than a year.”

If you are not ready to take a leap, take baby steps. Rather than committing to one organization for a lengthy period, try out different ones for one-off events or tasks such as at a 5K, rummage sale, mass mailing, backpack stuffing, for example. Test driving organizations will allow you to meet volunteers, staff, and learn more about their mission.

Here’s a sample of the types of organizations that consistently need volunteers:

• Local service organizations (Rotary Club or Lions Club)

• Senior centers

• Family shelters

• Food pantries

• Animal shelters and rescue organizations

• Places of worship

• Youth organizations (after-school programs or sports groups)

• Community arts groups (museums or theaters)

• National and state parks or conservation organizations

• Political organizations

• Libraries

When you have identified the organizations and causes of interest, take the following steps:

1. Gather details for the volunteer position.

2. Apply to volunteer.

3. Follow up if you have not been contacted within a week or two of applying.

4. Complete required training.

5. Begin with a limited commitment.

6. Regularly assess your volunteer experiences to determine if you are a good match.

When selecting an organization or cause, consider the people you’re volunteering alongside. Sharing a common interest will help you build closer relationships with those around you.

These are Rosie on the House’s favorite charities. Please consider them when considering organizations to volunteer for:

Military Assistance Mission

Habitat for Humanity

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul

A winning neighborhood

People from diverse backgrounds who work toward a common goal builds camaraderie and promotes teamwork. When a community is doing well, everyone wins.

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

Rosie On The House

(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Simple ways to reduce, reuse and recycle water

Water is Arizona’s most precious resource and everyone must do their part to conserve this resource.
5 days ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Here are Rosie’s tips for planning annual maintenance and home projects

Now that 2022 has arrived, let’s outline the projects and tasks that you need to plan for throughout the year. This year it is especially imperative to have a plan and a back-up, and possibly a back-up for your back-up.
19 days ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Here are Rosie’s top 5 DIY stories of 2021

Before looking forward to 2022, let’s take a look at the most popular DIY articles of this year. There is no rhyme or reason as to how they stacked up. But then, there was no rhyme or reason to 2021.
26 days ago
(Local First Arizona Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Enjoy! A local Christmas shopping story

If you have not finished your Christmas shopping and are worried that the gifts you want will not arrive on time and are still sitting on a cargo ship in the ocean, we have amassed some gift and retailer ideas for you.
1 month ago
(Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Here’s how to support the nonprofits that serve us

As the year comes to a close, you may be reflecting on the cards you have been dealt. The past 20 months left many people needing a hand to count on. If you received a good hand, pay it forward. Consider giving to a nonprofit.
1 month ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Show off your holiday hospitality from curb to front door

Make sure your front yard and entry are ready for your guests before you kickstart the holiday party season.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Canvas Annuity

Annuity basics: how to retire with a guaranteed paycheck for life

Does the thought of retirement fill you with stress or with happiness? Everyone wants to spend their retirement in a way that brings them the most joy, whether that’s traveling the world or spending extra time at home with grandkids.
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Being a good neighbor extends beyond your neighborhood