Volunteering and the economy

National Volunteer Week runs through Saturday, April 25. We thank our volunteers for their hard work and commitment throughout the year!

Across the country, nonprofits have seen the number of volunteer applications increase due to the current economy. With the unemployment rate in Wisconsin rising to 9.4 percent this month, many people are volunteering to share their skills and talents. A recent survey conducted by the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee and the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee found that 32 percent of area organizations are receiving more volunteers who are out of work.

Children’s Hospital always have relied on the help of volunteers. But, the current economic crunch makes a volunteer’s commitment even more valuable. Volunteers play an important role in our day-to-day operations. They strengthen our organization and create special partnerships with our staff and the children we treat each day.

Throughout the health system, there are a variety of volunteer opportunities. Some volunteers assist children with their homework, lend a hand to the nurses or distribute books. Others spend time in the O’Neil Family Gift Shop or provide clerical support. Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin volunteers serve as foster parents and provide respite care. Our Foundation also provides individuals and groups with one-time opportunities to assist with fundraising and events.

While volunteering your time doesn’t pay the bills, the skills you receive in return are essential to your job hunt. Experts also say that the contacts you add to your network can help you land your next job.

Here are some steps to follow to find the right volunteer opportunity to fit your lifestyle:

  1. Learn more about the causes and issues that are important to you. Research what volunteer opportunities they may offer.
  2. Think about the skills you can bring as a volunteer.
  3. Decide if you would like to learn something new from your volunteer experience.
  4. Find a volunteer opportunity that works with your schedule. Consider the time you are willing to commit (once a week, a few times each month or only a few times).

No matter your current career path or goals, Children’s Hospital has a volunteer placement for you. Learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

Eileen Clark, MSM, CCLS~ Eileen Clark, MSM, CCLS, manager, Family Services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Read more blog posts by Eileen Clark, MSM, CCLS.


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