Whether you’re setting aside time each week to help someone you know, making a donation, or becoming a volunteer, you have the opportunity to make an impact on the world right now.
1) Set aside an hour a week to help someone you know
Making an impact on the world can sound like an exhausting, full-time activity. But it’s okay to start small! Often, favours that seem mundane can make a huge difference in someone else’s day.
If you set aside an hour a week to help someone you know, we guarantee you’ll start to see a difference in yourself and those around you.
Maybe you can help a friend tackle a hard project or meet a deadline, or babysit for a couple you know in order to create some free time for them.
You could tutor a young person who’s struggling at school or make yourself available to someone who’s going through a hard time. Even helping around the house with chores or offering someone a ride is a step in the right direction.
Big changes often start with small questions, so here’s one you can ask: “Do you need help with anything? I have an hour.”
2) Make a donation
Often, when we think of donations our imagination goes straight to the monetary aspect. This can be discouraging for a young person who wants to donate but doesn’t have a lot of spare cash.
It’s also important to know whether the organisations you’re donating to operate ethically and if they have long-term, sustainable goals. The vetting work can be time-consuming, but is an essential part of the process of making financial donations.
If you don’t have the time or resources to go this route, we recommend taking a look in your closet, clearing out the clothes you haven’t used in a while and driving them to your local shelter.
Often, we have school supplies lying around and these can be of huge help to students and their parents. Books we’ve read and enjoyed can also get a second chance at making someone happy.
You could also donate blood to a blood donation bank. With your donation, you can help someone improve their health or even save someone in a critical condition.
Whether it’s the things you think someone else will have more use for, or even a trip to the blood bank, donations are a great, easy way to help others.
3) Become a volunteer
One of the most fulfilling ways to make an impact on the world is to become a volunteer. It can be as easy as applying at your local hospital, animal shelter, or nearby charities.
When volunteering, it is important to do so ethically. Just like when you donate, the only way to ensure that is to do research on the places you intend to volunteer at. They should have the community you’re volunteering for, and your best interests in mind.
If you find yourself wanting to go deeper, volunteering abroad is an incredible option to make an impact on the world and give yourself a chance to grow and get to know a different culture.
GVI has programs set all over the world that centre on making a positive global impact. A huge advantage of volunteering with GVI is that all of the vetting work will be done for you, so you won’t need to worry about interacting with unethical partnerships or organisations.
For example, you can volunteer with children in Cape Town or in wildlife conservation in Seychelles. You can find yourself teaching in Laos or working towards women’s empowerment in India. Those are only a handful of dozens of incredible projects that you can become a part of.
If you feel a sense of social responsibility, wanderlust, and a craving to meet new people in different locations, all while making an impact on the world, volunteering abroad is the perfect opportunity for you.
If you are interested in participating in a GVI program, visit the website to learn more about how you can volunteer abroad.
Daniela Boullosa is an intern at the GVI Writing Academy. The Writing Academy is a skills-development program that pairs development editors with budding travel writers. Learn more about the program here.