There are lots of ways we can help others, now your car can pitch in, too.
Last month was National Volunteer Month, but why not volunteer all year long? And for those of us who enjoy spending time in our cars, we can bring that beloved machine along in our volunteer efforts. Opportunities to volunteer with your car abound. Here are a few ways to turn your vehicle into a doer of good deeds.
Load Up the Food
With the pandemic, more people are reluctant to venture out to buy groceries or dine in a restaurant. Those more susceptible to illness and high-risk individuals need to remain diligent with their social distancing. Shopping in a grocery store may prove too risky. And, not everyone’s budget works for having groceries delivered through delivery services.
Delivering meals to those who might not otherwise have access to food, such as seniors, those with disabilities and other high-risk individuals is a great way to volunteer your time. If you can stay for a friendly chat, your visit could also provide meaningful social interaction. Meals on Wheels is the most widely known organization that organizes food delivery. But your community may also have other organizations dedicated to providing meals for those in need. Or, choose a neighbor or friend in need and volunteer to pick up their groceries.
Put Your Truck to Work
If you have a passion for the great outdoors, have a truck, and live near a national forest or state park you can use your vehicle to help with light trail maintenance. Picking up and disposing of trash on the trails helps keep the parks clean. Replacing signs or possibly removing tree limbs also keeps the parks pristine. You and your truck provide the ideal team to accomplish these tasks. Some parks need volunteers to transport young trees and shovels to neighborhood planting events. Check with your local park service to see what you and your truck can do to help keep our parks clean.
Lend a Hand to Seniors
At some point, seniors give up their driver’s licenses. When this happens, running errands and getting to doctor’s appointments present challenges. This is especially true for those living in assisted living and nursing homes. While families do what they can to help out, often work schedules and distance interfere. Use your car to run their errands or pick up things they need or want. Or drive them to dentist and doctor appointments. Consider contacting local senior centers and nursing homes to see what you can do to help these valuable citizens.
Join a Lifesaving Mission
Becoming a volunteer driver for the American Red Cross provides an opportunity for you to experience how it feels to help save a life. Volunteer drivers transport lifesaving blood products to local hospitals. You’ll also need to meet these important qualifications:
- Have a valid state driver’s license and proof of insurance
- Have 3 years driving experience and a clean driving record
- Be able to lift up to 45 lbs.
It also helps not to get woozy at the sight of blood. Learn how you can get involved in this wonderful way to use your driving skills here.
Don’t Forget our Furry Friends
Sadly, some animal shelters still euthanize dogs and cats. Volunteer drivers help remove animals from death row by transferring them to a no-kill shelter. If you have the time and a vehicle that’s fur-friendly, check to see what you can do to help these sweet animals. You might be the link to finding an animal’s “furever” home!
Donate a Used Vehicle
When your vehicle’s volunteering days are done, consider donating it to charity. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity will pick up your car even if it doesn’t run. Sometimes the car gets a makeover and is sold to a new owner. If the vehicle is beyond repair, the parts will be sold. In either case, the proceeds will help the charity continue to do good in the community. And that’s a win-win for everyone…even the car!