Ever since Jeff Ber beat testicular cancer, he has been on a mission to empower other men through their own personal journeys and reducing the stigma associated with talking about men’s health. As the Vice President of Operations at OneBall, Jeff Ber encourages anyone with some free time to volunteer for a cause they feel passionate about — for Jeff, this work has given him an overwhelming sense of purpose. While many people are unsure how to get started in volunteering, Jeff Ber has multiple suggestions on where to look, how to know if it is a good fit, and ways to leverage the things you’re already good at.
Volunteer for a Cause You are Passionate About
First and foremost, Jeff Ber encourages you to ask yourself: Is there a specific cause that I feel closely connected to? Perhaps it is mental health, homelessness, youth programming, or community outreach activities. The more closely connected you are to an issue, the easier it will be to motivate yourself to show up enthusiastically. If you are undecided, make a list of local charities and non-profits and set up a call to learn more about what they do and the impact they make in the community.
Jeff Ber explains that almost every non-profit or charity is happy to set-up an interview prior to a volunteer making a commitment. This way, you can ensure that the culture is a good fit for both you and the organization.
Utilize Your Strengths
If you are still unsure which cause to volunteer for, you may want to look at the skills you already have. Whether it is event planning, fundraising, marketing, finances, or mentoring, every organization has a specific need that you may be able to fill. By calling potential organizations with a specific set of skills and expertise in mind, you may be able to narrow your focus. In addition to adding real value to an organization you volunteer with, using your skill set can also help you build your network and utilize your existing connections to benefit the cause.
Give Back to Your Local Community
If you are still not entirely sure about where to volunteer your time and energy, Jeff Ber suggests reaching out to alumni associations, faith-based networks, or community centers in your area. Whether it is your high school or university, your existing alumni connections with these institutions can create a meaningful connection and give you a sense of purpose. Jeff Ber also suggests volunteering at an organization located in close proximity to your home. If you have to travel outside of your local neighborhood, you might be less likely to uphold your commitment.
Lastly, Jeff Ber suggests asking yourself exactly what it is you want to get out of the experience. Do you want to work directly with members of the community? Do you want to see immediate change? Are you more comfortable working behind the scenes? Each one of these questions will help guide you towards a volunteer opportunity that is right for you. Jeff Ber explains that when it comes to volunteering, there is no wrong answer. Giving back to your community is as fundamental to human nature as breathing, and Jeff Ber knows you will get more out of the experience than you put it.