Volunteer Peer Support and other volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering is a great way to do something for others and research shows that it benefits people of all ages through increasing feelings of self-esteem, social connection, and wellbeing.1
Here are some ideas for how you can get involved:
- Volunteer for a local community organisation.
- Offer your expertise and support as a mentor for those who are struggling.
- Check in with a neighbour who may be isolated.
- Get involved in a charity which is important to you.
- Involve your friends and neighbours in community projects. You could work together to create a communal garden, or you could start-up a book club.
- Volunteer your help in a crisis. If your community has experienced a bad flood or fire, help with the clean-up.
- Volunteer to help people in need in developing countries, through a well-established organisation. You could teach children in schools or help to build houses and hospitals.
To find out more on volunteering opportunities, check out our suggested organisations here.
When you mentor, listen and support people that you share experiences with, this is a form of peer support. Peer support can take place between colleagues or in self-help groups – anywhere where people meet as equals to give each other support.
Supporting your peers by sharing knowledge, experience and emotional help is incredibly valuable. Peers can speak about what worked for them, talk about coping strategies and provide empathy that people who do not have that direct experience may not be able to.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Mentor younger pupils to help them adjust to a new school or college.
- Help people experiencing mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety through a local charity. Doing so can improve your confidence and self-awareness.
- If you’re managing a long-term condition such as diabetes, join a support group to help others.
- People in later life can become socially isolated and lonely. Joining or helping someone else join a local organization can build new friendships.
Ways to Volunteer in Tompkins County
Other Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities:
A short list of organizations seeking regular volunteers in the Tompkins County area.
2-1-1 Tompkins – An information and referral service that connects individuals to community resources such as employment, healthcare, heat assistance, and other community services.
Alternatives Library – The Durland Alternatives Library is dedicated to providing free and open access to materials expressing viewpoints and information not readily available through mainstream publications and mass-media sources. We are committed to providing information and educational materials to under-served and incarcerated people. The need volunteers for a variety of different projects! This is a great choice for students who are committed to social, political, and/or environmental justice.
Cayuga Nature Center – help with painting, cleaning, trail blazing and office work.
Ithaca Children’s Garden – ICG holds “Volunteer Mondays” as well as a variety of events for anyone interested in helping out. No experience necessary. ICG provides the tools and leads each project. Bring a waterbottle and wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty!
Ithaca Free Health Clinic – The Ithaca Free Health Clinic is an excellent place for students who want to volunteer with an organization that addresses issues in the medical field. Students interested in volunteering are strongly encouraged to volunteer regularly throughout the semester.
Loaves and Fishes – Loaves and fishes provides nutritious food, as well as hospitality to community residents who have determined themselves food insecure. Loaves and fishes provides food for everyone who desires to eat together in a community setting, bar none. You can help them prepare food and provide a warm setting for their weekly meals by going to their website to learn more.
Tompkins County Public Library – For many people, libraries serve as the symbolic center for community resources, and are among the most socially just resources in a community. The Tompkins County Public Library serves as one such example. Patrons of the library have access to books, music, movies, magazines, computers, academic lectures, community reads, children’s programs, and more. Support your local community library!
4-H Urban Outreach at West Village Apartment Complex: The mission of the 4-H Urban Outreach Program is to take the 4-H Youth Development model and make it accessible to all audiences in our community. By providing daily after school and summer programming, the program empowers youth and adults by creating opportunities that build academic and life skills through experiential learning. The aim is to ensure that youth achieve a sense of independence, belonging, mastery and generosity, to develop into positive, caring, and productive citizens.