Volunteering #worklifebalancegoals


You've seen the terms #squadgoals or #lifegoals - to me, one #worklifebalancegoal is to be able to have time to volunteer outside of work. I could go on about the importance of service and how we are all connected but will have to save that soapbox for a different blog/time. From a happiness at work perspective, a Swiss study of workers who also volunteered in non-profits showed that, "volunteering was associated with less work-life conflict, burnout and stress, and better positive mental health".

These days I am fortunate to have the time to mentor a teenage girl and volunteer with a group that provides fresh food to those in need. I also find interest in "one-time" events, for example, I look forward to helping at the SAS Golf Tournament later this year. As a social worker, knowing about community resources is part of the profession, so it's pretty easy for me to know where the volunteer opportunities are. Where there's a resource - there's usually a volunteer need.

I hear from many people that they want to somehow be involved but are unsure of how or where to start. A search engine and a few key words can open you up to a world of possibilities. There are so many ways you can volunteer, on a spectrum from serious to minimal commitment. You could do anything from directly working with the population served, to assisting with admin, fundraising, events, maintenance and more.

So here is my suggested search "algorithm" (Yes I see the irony as this is probably the only time I would be the one sharing an "algorithm" with SAS employees).

your city + topic/population of interest + one or two of the keywords below

Certainly opportunities are not limited to this list below. These are just suggestions to get the creative juices flowing. I'm also happy to talk with you one on one about any personal goals you may have, especially those related to expanding your sense of community. Good luck and I'd love to hear where some of your volunteering adventures lead!


Keywords: hospital, hospice, free clinic, patient support, association or alliance (fill in the blank for type of disease), research/support, health education.

Older Adults (No secret, my favorite 🙂 )

Keywords: skilled nursing centers, continuing care retirement community, adult day care center, senior center, meals on wheels, senior corps


Keywords: local literacy council, reading, Motheread, local library


Keywords: YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, United Way, Girls On The Run, mentoring, STEM

Food InsecurityWineandWeeds

Keywords: Food bank/pantry, community farms, soup kitchen, food insecure, food shuttle, cooperative, (picture - last fall at Raleigh City Farm's Wednesday Wine and Weeds - so fun!)

Parks and Recreation

Keywords: Local government website, US National Park Service

Race day, Local Events

Keywords: Look for "volunteer" section on websites for charity races or events, cultural festivals or celebrations


Search is pretty straight forward, but you can add clarifiers for type you are interested in like "science" "art" "history" etc.

The Arts

Keywords: Art center, collaborative, cultural festival, little theatre


Keywords: The Arc, Special Olympics, Foundation for (fill in the blank)

Domestic Violence

Keywords: Domestic violence shelter, domestic violence resource center


Keywords: transitional housing, mission, rescue, coalition, Habitat for Humanity, warmth or firewood


Keywords: Humane Society, SPCA, animal shelters, foster programs, sanctuaries, rescue

Don't forget to check out the HUB group for Volunteerism and search the SWW under "V" for Volunteerism! Are you a young professional? I am on the YPN volunteer committee and am happy to talk with you about upcoming YPN service events.


About Author

Katie Seavey Pegoraro

Sr Associate Work Life Program Manager

Katie Seavey Pegoraro supports employees with issues of stress and balance, providing tools and resources to cope when life feels overwhelming. Katie is a contact for those who may be coping with issues of mental health, substance use, or grief and loss. A young professional herself, Katie is a unique support to employees who are navigating the many life transitions that occur in your 20's and 30's.

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