If you aren’t currently volunteering or helping out in your community in some way, have you ever thought about what’s stopping you?
While lack of money and lack of time are two of the biggest reasons people commonly give why they don’t volunteer, there is another important, but often overlooked, reason that sometimes holds people back: They are introverts.
Apparently up to half of the population is made up of introverts. I’m an introvert (many bloggers are), and you might be one too. For introverts, it isn’t that they don’t want to help out. Instead, spending time interacting with people they don’t know–or even talking to the person in charge of a volunteer event–can be a little intimidating.
Yet, while there are tons of volunteer opportunities out there that are perfect for extroverts, thankfully there are tons of ways that introverts can use their unique personalities to make a difference too.
If you’re an introvert like me, here are 10 community service projects for introverts you’ll definitely want to check out!
1. Do Your Online Shopping Through a Charitable Website
If you have any online shopping to do, why not use it to help others as well? There are websites like Giving Assistant that donate to the charitable organisation of your choice when you shop with them. And some of your favourite charities have online stores selling gifts that are perfect when a birthday or Christmas rolls around.
2. Visit Animals at the Animal Shelter
People aren’t the only ones who need help. Animals do too. If you’re an animal lover, you might feel right at home at an animal shelter, helping feed, brush and play with all of the animals awaiting good homes.
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3. Hold Babies in the Church Nursery
While babies are technically people, they are a lot less intimidating than the full sized ones! Nothing soothes social anxiety like sitting and holding a sleeping baby for an hour while everyone else is together in church.
4. Help Out in the Church Office
When my boys were little, we used to help out in the church office once a week. I sat in an office, working on the computer, and the only people I had to talk to were my children and the youth leader I worked for. It’s the perfect scenario for many introverted church goers who want to help out in a quiet, low-key way.
5. Clean Up a Neighborhood Park
Neighbourhood clean-ups don’t have to be group projects. This summer, take your kids to a run-down park and simply start helping out. No one is going to mind if you pick up trash or sweep mulch back where it goes. Do get permission from the city before you tackle any major projects, like painting, however.
6. Donate Supplies
With donation opportunities everywhere, this is one volunteer opportunity that couldn’t be easier. Drop off your old clothes at Salvos or Vinnies instead of selling them. Buy an extra bag of groceries and drop it off at a church that runs a care program. Drop off extra supplies to nursing homes, battered women’s shelters, homeless shelters or schools–anywhere you feel led.
7. Sponsor a Child
Want to make a real difference in the life of a child? Sponsoring couldn’t be easier. Head to the websites of organisations like Compassion, World Vision, Child Fund, Destiny Rescue or the Smith Family and find a child who needs your help.
8. Participate in a Charity Run
If you enjoy running, why not run for a cause? Sure, there will be lots of people there, but you don’t have to talk to anyone. Pretend it’s just you and the pavement and make a difference while getting in shape.
9. Write for a Cause
Do you enjoy writing? Most charities and non-profits have to send out emails and newsletters and update their websites on a regular basis. If there’s an organisation in your area that you’re a big fan of, why not call and see if they could use some help? After the initial phone call, you can probably do all of your volunteering from home on your couch by email only.
10. Treat Others to a Free Meal
The next time you visit the drive-thru, pay for your meal as well as the meal of the person behind you. Or anonymously pay for someone else’s meal at a restaurant. One simple act of kindness can make more of a difference than you know. Or, if you’re handy in the kitchen, cook up some meals that can be stored in the freezer and donate them to your local community soup kitchen.
Article supplied with thanks to Equipping Godly Women. About the Author: Brittany is a wife, a mother of three, a writer, author, teacher, and lover of Jesus!