Have a lot of time on your hands? Wish you were a little more productive? Or do you simply just want to do some good? Well, volunteering is a great way to spend your free time. It is a truly a wonderful thing to do for yourself, but more importantly to do for others. There are so many people that are in need of assistance, or simply, desire the company of another person. Not a people person? Do you still want to be involved? Not a problem there are many other programs you can help with as well. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “issues like global warming and world hunger are much too big of problems to solve individually”. Yes, this is true. However, if you go about finding solutions through this perspective, nothing would get done. It is the baby steps in the right direction that can slowly change our environment, our community and ourselves. Here are a few volunteering opportunities for EF teachers (or anyone) that you get involved with right now!
Children Morning Tears Alliance
Children Morning Tears Alliance is a local Independent organization that aids children with parents who are convicted convicts. It is an extremely unfortunate situation that many children have been born into. However, though they have been dealt a bad hand, you can potentially provide them with the proper care and attention that could better their life. The challenges and obstacles that these children face economically, spiritually and emotionally can be challenging for the most mentally sound adults. Yes, you can always help by donating, but you can make a bigger difference by becoming involved with the organization. You can help negate a child’s potentially negative psychological trauma through CMTA (Children Morning Tears Alliance) strengthening centers. If you are looking to be something better or wish to get involved in something bigger than yourself, you can start here. For more information you can contact them at email@example.com or through their website at Morningstar.org/volunteer/.
Heart to Heart
Heart to heart (Shanghai) is a charity that provides less economically fortunate families’ children with payment for heart conditions and defects. In a lot of countries around the world (I truly don’t understand why… it’s a basic human rights) health insurance and aid can be hard to pay for and come by. But when it comes to surgeries, hospital bills can become financially devastating for families. So what better way to help than making a donation? If you cannot do that, then volunteering would do families some good as well. You can provide hope, love, comfort and just authentic friendship to those who are in a constant spiral of deepening sadness. This charity provides many programs with numerous hospitals around Shanghai. Some of which include playing with the children and bringing smiles to their faces in the playroom program. If you are an EF teacher then you are already given the pleasure of providing this courtesy to your students. Why not do it for children who lack the luxury of traveling, or worse, burdened with stay in a hospital day to day. You can also teach and entertain these children through knitting, assembly and crocheting events. You can find more information through their website h2hsh.com/#contact. Or you can contact them through email. firstname.lastname@example.org for general information. Events@h2hsh.net for events and Donations@h2hsh.net for donations.
Home sweet Home
Want to get involved, but possibly with something a little more hand on? And possibly less ambiguous as the previous ones stated? Well then Home Sweet Home is the right place for you to volunteer. You can provide help for the homeless here in Shanghai on Saturdays from two to six pm. It is located at one of their many care centers. One if which is conveniently located next to the Shanghai Railway station. You can provide assistance in various ways; you can provide them with meals, help the wash their clothes and even cook food with those in need of help. You can even help them shower! Oh you’re not up for that one huh? It’s alright, you even being there and showing you care is enough to add some ease to someone in need. Hell, stay and play games with them, or even just listen and talk to them like the normal human beings they are! You may be surprised with some of the you hear. Some people in this world have been truly been dealt a hand of misfortune. But just speaking with them may give these individuals the attention that they have been looking for. Even if it is just but for a moment. You can find more information at their website c. And don’t forget you can always donate (clothes, money, food etc)!
Crazy about the sustainability of nature and its glorious natural resources? Want to slow down the degradation of China’s environment (which is a result of China’s strong economic growth)? Well then Green Initiatives is the place for you to volunteer. This program is all about the suitability of water, land and air. With this in mind, this program is one that takes volunteering very serious. There are a few requirements that you must be aware of before getting involved. For example, you could potentially be given a task that continues over the span of three to six months (a couple of hours out of your weekly schedule). They are also very strict about the completion of tasks. They simply want you to be a responsible adult and do what you say you are going to do. All that being said, if you are serious about global issues, and it is deeply rooted in your character to make a differences, then this is the volunteering program for you. Though the help that you provide may only be small steps, it is still indeed steps (regardless of stride) in a healthier direction. You can reach them through their website at greeinititives.cn/getinvolved, or email them for further information at email@example.com
Want to do something great for the environment and simultaneously healthy? Do you like running? Try Plogging! Plogging is a fun outdoor activity that originated in Sweden. It is when a group of individuals get together and go for a simple jog. Only, what’s different, is that you gather rubbish along the way. This is something that you can do with friends, family or on your own (yes you probably need a bag). The great news is that there aren’t any organizations or charities you must go through. Something that may also be attractive to your interest is that you can do it whenever you feel like it! You can easily create a Plogging group on China’s WeChat app and get started right away! Grab some friends and go Plogging!
The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place whether we care to admit it or not. Ironically the problems are becoming bigger and bigger. Eventually we will all have to decide when we will stop contributing to the worlds problems and start being a part of the solutions. Not to sound cliché, but truthfully the change starts with you taking action. The benefits are great on an individual’s mind and body. But, the positive influence it can have on your environment, community and others is enough in itself to get involved. If your still skeptical, at least try it once. Why? Because as I always say, continue to explore, continue to discover and try everything. You never know what lies ahead!
ARE YOU READY TO GET INVOLVED?
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Post by Javier Chaney
Javier enjoys studying theology, culture and history. He is a self-proclaimed illustrator, writer and musician. He feels the world and its culture’s share far more similarities than differences. If one is given the opportunity to journey out beyond one’s comfort zone, it is their duty to share their learnings with others. Through empathy, patience and pure expression we cannot only progress in the right direction, we can solve global issues as well.