To kick off National Volunteer Week, CHPN is sharing a guest contribution. Matt is a passionate member of his community and is an advocate for community involvement. He seeks helpful ways to get others in the community involved for a better tomorrow. For more information or to reach out about other opportunities, Matt invites you to follow him on Twitter.
Whether you’re a business owner or resident of Richmond, there are several opportunities to get involved in the community. Before we share some of the opportunities for community involvement, take a look at some of the reasons why everyone should consider getting more involved with their community.
The Benefits of Community Involvement
Everyone benefits from getting involved in their community. Volunteering in your community can improve your physical and mental health by reducing stress and increasing your social interaction. Whether you work with a close-knit group that you know well or volunteer with strangers, you can improve your social skills and create a deeper connection to your community.
Volunteering and community involvement allows you the opportunity to connect with people you may not otherwise interact with, and it may even help you boost self-confidence and self-worth.
Getting involved with your community shouldn’t be all about helping yourself (or even making yourself look better). You will ultimately end up caring more about where you live and create a deeper connection to neighborhoods, organizations, and other establishments.
Get Involved in the Richmond Area
There are plenty of ways to get involved in your community and here are just some of the few to consider lending a helping hand and strengthening your bond with the community of Richmond.
Hands On Greater Richmond
If you’re unsure where you want to volunteer or what type of work you would like to get involved in, Hands On Greater Richmond matches you up with opportunities and helps you find a volunteering opportunity in your community. This resource is a great way to get started volunteering in the Richmond area.
Opportunities to Work with Youth
Maybe you have a background in education or children of your own. If you are interested in working directly with the youth in the Greater Richmond area, here are some organizations to check out.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond
The Boys & Girls Club is a nationally recognized organization that strives to provide a safe, educational, and welcoming place for young boys and girls all across the U.S. for more than six decades. The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Richmond include a club in Northside Richmond, Southside Richmond, East End Richmond, and Petersburg and has been recognized locally from other Richmond businesses as well.
The clubs offer after-school support and other skills for success. As a volunteer, you can be a financial contributor to the program or contact the club directly to see how you can help in your area.
Love of Learning
Love of Learning is an organization that strives to improve the literacy of children in Central Virginia. The organization is always looking for volunteers to help with book drives or to read directly to children who have limited access to books and struggle with literacy.
Many volunteering opportunities are suitable for individuals or as a group, so if you find an organization you are interested in contact them directly and see how you can help.
Blue Sky Fund
Blue Sky Fund has been providing outdoor adventures and experiential science education to Richmond City Public school kids since 2014. The program is designed to mentor and educate at-risk youth by leaving the urban environment and exploring nature.
Blue Sky has field trips, after-school, weekend, and summer programs for middle school students and high school students have the opportunity to experience a wilderness trip. Financial contributions are always welcome and contact the organization to see how you can become involved.
Peter Paul Developmental Center
Peter Paul Developmental Center (PPDC) is the oldest community and outreach center in Richmond’s East End that is focused on children and families. After school and summer programs are just a few of the programs that embody PPDC’s mission to “Educate the Child, Engage the Family, and Empower the Community.”
PPDC relies heavily on volunteers from the community as well as financial contributions towards the programs. If you want to volunteer, PPDC will find a way for you to help out.
Church Hill Activities and Tutoring, or CHAT, is a faith-based organization that focuses on serving the K-12 youth of East End Richmond. Through after school programs, preschool, and workforce development for teens, CHAT prepares youth to have giving relationships, a vision for the future, and skills they can use for a lifetime.
If you have woodworking or carpentry experience, you can volunteer in the wood shop. You can also sign up to help tutor in the after-school program or as a substitute teacher.
Getting Involved in the Community
If you want to help out the community of Richmond anyway you can, but don’t have a specific focus you are interested in, check out one of these organizations.
Robinson Theater Community Arts Center
Community centers play an integral role in the livelihood of a community. The Robinson Theater is a venue that has opened its doors to the East End of Richmond and provides educational classes, entertainment, and various other social events to bring the community together.
The Robinson Theater is always looking for financial contributions, but you can contact the center directly to see how you can get involved hands-on.
Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton
The Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton, or NRC Fulton, is a non-profit organization that provides education, nutrition, and culture to Richmond’s east end. There are a variety of programs which focus on youth and adult community needs from after-school programs to case management and financial services.
In addition to donating to NRC Fulton, there are numerous opportunities to volunteer in the programs, such as the Food Pantry or Garden.
Rags & Bones Bicycle Co-op
Rags & Bones Bicycle Co-op’s mission is to provide the residents of Richmond with access to bicycle repair, knowledge on how to fix bikes, and an affordable way to own one as reliable transportation.
Rags & Bones is always looking for financial contributions and volunteers to help run the cooperative. Whether you’re a biking aficionado or just want to learn more skills, volunteering here is a great learning opportunity and giving back to your community.
FeedMore Food Banks
Food insecurity is a prevalent issue across the U.S. and even in the greater Richmond area. Whether you’re interested in helping local children have access to healthy food or help homebound seniors get meals, FeedMore Food Banks has a variety of volunteering opportunities throughout Richmond.
Volunteer Opportunities with an Environmental Focus
Environmental organizations benefit the health and longevity of a community, here are some opportunities to explore.
The Tricycle Gardens include four community garden, three learning gardens, and urban farms in the works. Not only does Tricycle Gardens provide fresh produce to residents of Richmond, but it educates residents on how to grow food, eat healthily, and experience other benefits of gardening.
Tricycle Gardens is always looking for hands-on and financial contributions to keep the gardens growing.
The Enrichmond Foundation strives to create beautiful, clean, and healthy outdoor spaces throughout Richmond. Playgrounds, dog parks, and community gardens are just a few things that Enrichmond tries to build to beautify the city. Check out the Friends of Jefferson Park or the Friends of Chimborazo Park to get involved in beautifying the east end.
if you find an opportunity on Church Hill People’s News volunteer section, be sure to contact them directly and see how you can help.