There was a middle aged woman I met the other day who helped run a free clinic in a small Wisconsin community. That said- she already impressed me. The next question she asked me was “How do you convince people to join a project.” I was a little confused by this question. She could tell. She then told me what was bothering her.
“I was giving a lecture to the students last night about Mexican migrant issues in southern Arizona. I told them about humanitarian groups working to solve migrant health, security, and other issues, and called for an action for the students to help, but no one seemed interested.”
I felt bad all the sudden. She really cared, and wanted to help but was having trouble connecting. No one seemed to care.
Here's the thing, people only help when they care about an issue. And truth be told, sometimes its hard find those people that do care about a specific issue. But, here's the other thing- THEY DO EXIST.
One of the first things we ask our volunteers is to pick an area they feel connected to: education, conservation, animal care and rescue, or social development. Most people can pick out their favorite area in a second. Others, especially those volunteers still finding themselves, tend to take more time trying to find where they might fit in.
When you stick a person ready to do business-related activities into a room full of animal lovers, they can very well find themselves and their skills useless, and vice versa. We all lean toward certain things, and the most important thing is to just find a place where we can do something we like doing with love, passion- especially while volunteering.
Volunteers give their time and energy away. They should choose something they care about. Hint:
- animal care and rescue projects: animal lovers
- conservation projects: people who care about preserve the environment
- education: those who care about nurturing and shaping the mind of youth as well as their own
- social development: people who care about helping the livelihoods individuals and communities
So to that woman I say- find those people that care about the issue. There might not be a lot. There might only be one, but one person has the ability to do a lot. Look for people who come from migrant parents or are immigrants themselves. Look for people who have a deep connection for human rights issues. They're out there.