The Forgotten Louisville
Manual students are on a constant stream of staying busy. Between the expectation of playing a sport, being involved in clubs and maintaining a 4.0 or above grade point average, trying to be more involved with the community can become unnecessarily stressful. Some students may even volunteer not through their own heart but because of sheer pressure and expectation. Situations such as these lead to volunteering where your heart isn’t. Thus volunteering can become a negative as well as stressful task for the individual.
Dr. Rodlescia Sneed from Carnegie Mellon University found that volunteering can lower blood pressure. “Many people find volunteer work to be helpful with respect to stress reduction, and we know that stress is very strongly linked to health outcomes.” However, a 2012 study from the journal Health Psychology found that patients reaped health benefits from volunteering- but only if their intentions were truly altruistic.
Hundreds of volunteer opportunities exist across Louisville that tailor to a wide variety of interests, personalities and schedules. Finding an organization that matches a student’s interest and schedule can enable a stress-free way to positively impact the community.
Kentucky Humane Society
The Kentucky Humane Society is Kentucky’s largest adoption center and no-kill shelter. They provide extensive care for all animals they have and rescue, with the goal of finding a loving home for each one. This non-profit is dependent on volunteers, donations and welcomes beneficial aide for the animal community.
Volunteers work with cats and dogs; cleaning up messes, doing laundry, washing dishes and tidying up rooms. Playing with the animals is also encouraged when the time is appropriate. Independence is encouraged but a team-setting also exists. Those under the age of 18 have the opportunities of either volunteering at the East Campus location or signing up for special events such as Picture Your Pet With Santa.
Volunteers are able to select the date and time of their choice as availability allows, but have to keep in mind that they are asked to donate at least two hours of their time every two weeks. There exists a deal of leniency with the rule though.
Get started by completing the Online Volunteer application here. Once it’s been reviewed and approved, you will be sent instructions for the orientation class. This process can take up to two months, so apply as soon as possible.
More information can be found at https://www.kyhumane.org/volunteer .
Louisville Parks and Recreation
Civic engagement, empowerment and educational opportunities can be found through the local park system. With an incredibly broad selection and schedule flexibility, volunteers can benefit the community and feel comfortable with what they are doing. Areas of opportunity include special events, athletics, aiding at community centers, litter walks, tree planting and more. A public calendar is provided which lists lists the job, shifts available and dates. Clicking on the job gives a detailed explanation, typical times of occurrence as well as other necessary details.
Fill out the volunteer application form and check out the calendar here.
Further information can be found at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/parks/volunteer-opportunities.
Louisville Science Center Youth Infusion Board
Geared towards problem solvers and critical thinkers, the Youth Infusion Board works to create ambassadors of science literacy. Those passionate about science can work alongside staff and other Board members to complete service projects and provide a teen perspective to the Kentucky Science Center team.
Volunteers are expected to be committed, acceptable of team and individual work, responsible and motivated in spreading the message of how science matters. Stricter attendance requirements and an in-depth application process helps determine who is selected to be on the Youth Board. The Application deadline for the 2019 Youth Infusion Board is Friday, November 2nd.
The application process and further information can be found here.
The Forgotten Louisville
Every Wednesday night down at the Waterfront, citizens of all races, genders and ages come together to serve the homeless community. Started by Christen “Tiny” Heron, Forgotten Louisville hands out food, clothes and other supplies to the homeless of Louisville in a safe environment. Volunteers drive with their donations, park in a lot and set out what they’ve brought. This is a neutral environment that nurtures friendship and offers hope. There exists no application to fill out and no requirement to show up or stay. All that’s required is to bring some type of donation to hand out or drop off. In place of donations volunteers can bring their love, staying to talk with those they may not interact with any other time.
Visit their website to see the time, date and location. Check out further information on their Twitter and Facebook.
Louisville Visual Arts
Louisville Visual Arts runs a multitude of programs, classes and events dedicated to encouraging artists of all ages and providing quality instruction for the visual arts. Their goal is to engage, inspire and improve the Louisville region through art.
Help out alongside the education team at workshops and art activities, hang posters or flyers, volunteer with events or choose to go with the flow. No prior experience is required and the application takes less than a minute.
Learn more and apply here.
Additional resources for freelance volunteering can be found on their website.