After I decided on an early retirement, I quickly realized I had plenty more to do (and give) — time, energy, and a desire to help others. I searched for volunteer opportunities online and found VolunteerMatch. After completing my profile, I was matched with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Jackson County.
At age 16, Sharon Reasonover was nervous the first time she volunteered. Ever since, she’s spent countless hours at the Ronald McDonald House, where she makes sick kids and their families laugh, hears life-changing stories and continues to grow into the person she’s always wanted to be.
Noah first experienced volunteering at the age of 7, when he helped with the soccer program at his summer camp. Now in high school, Noah's already volunteered more than most people do in a lifetime.
Volunteering has been a part of Stephanie's life since she was 7 years old. Now, she uses her professional skills to help animals in her community.
Due to shifting life events, Becky recently found herself with time on her hands. What did she do? Turned to Google, of course! This led her to VolunteerMatch, which in turn led her to JourneyCare.
After hearing about his company's, ConAgra Foods'. commitment to take action against child hunger, Rajan Taylor sparked the largest, single-day, citywide food drive in history to benefit the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
Shannon David, Senior Assoicate of Community Support with VolunteerMatch, used her volunteer time off (VTO) to remodel a house in Chile with Habitat for Humanity's Global Village Program.
Appirio's Silver Lining volunteers are reaching for the sky with their company's employee volunteer program.
The U.S. Bank Law Division cites pro bono work as a priority for both their employees and their company as a whole.
Celebrate pro bono volunteering with VolunteerMatch.
In 2013 Mercer employees tracked over 26,000 volunteer hours - over 5 times what they recorded in 2012. How did they do it?
When someone says, "country music," usually volunteering does not come to mind. But the two have more in common than it would initially seem...
What can five employees from different divisions at Morgan Stanley do for a nonprofit in two months? They can have a profound impact through the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge, a program that provides pro bono strategic consulting to select nonprofits.
The winner of our #WhyIVolunteer Photo Contest, Dr. John Ness spends his vacation time offering free surgery to impoverished and orphaned children.
Allstate's Week of Service this year brought thousands of employees, agency owners, friends and families together to give back to local communities.
Through VolunteerMatch, Jenna found a unique volunteer opportunity that fit her schedule and enabled her to use her skills to help thousands of people.
Why was Sean McCarthy fighting tears on his very first day as a volunteer "Hospital Magician?"
Joy spends her free time sharing her life-long love of nature and teaching children to respect the wildlife around them.
Sasha combines her love of technology and passion for volunteering to help nonprofits navigate the confusing online world.
Molly, Shannon and Aezed use their passion and free time to run an all-volunteer international development organization that improves lives across the world.
Ellie's desire to help others motivated her to find her own strength, and pass that power on to others.
Wendy found a way to turn the loss of her job into a positive thing – by giving her time to others.
The first annual global Volunteer Week at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was a resounding success – in more ways than one.
How one company and its dedicated employees made a difference in the fight against hunger.
Kevin found a way to fit volunteering into his busy schedule - by helping homebound seniors, one bingo call at a time.
Michael's volunteer work in the arts community lets him follow his passion while also developing his professional communications skills.
Over the past six years, employees at UnitedHealth Group have volunteered over 1 million hours, setting a dedicated example for the rest of us.
An active member of the National Guard, a criminal investigator, a mother and a pageant queen, Rachel Keith is a busy woman - and a lifelong volunteer.
The story of Sandra, artist and nature-lover, and how she became the "Turtle Lady," driving conservation awareness for an entire community.
When she began volunteering at a hospice providing end-of-life care, Lisa Nordin found both a way to comfort patients and a sense of purpose for herself.
To save animals and fight overpopulation and euthanization in animal shelters, Meredith Snyder serves as a foster parent for unwanted cats and dogs.
When lifelong volunteer and youth advocate Debbie Francis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, she was able to continue volunteering with the help of technology.
David Depallo is an ex-drug addict who turned his life around and now dedicates himself to helping at-risk youth.
Julie Krenzer uses her creativity to help her community through her employer's volunteer program.
From the challenges of 9/11 to threats of a shutdown, Vivian has dedicated her time to leading and strengthening Red Cross Nursing.
Michael was inspired by one late-night experience to dedicate his time to helping inner-city youth succeed.
After getting help and support from the same nonprofit she volunteers for, Patricia decided to spend the rest of her life helping others.
With her work helping low-income families obtain their tax refunds, Diny Huang is certain she’s benefited just as much as the community she’s helped.
When Tom’s friend died of leukemia, he gave his time and talent and found a special way to honor her memory.
The Merry Band of Schemers volunteers their time, connections and money to change one family's life each month.
Alisha Beth Griswold was inspired by her mother to dedicate her time to help others, and now she prepares her community for disasters.
When Pat Hairston's dog provided comfort to her friend with cancer, she found a new way to make a difference to people struggling with illness.
Willie and Brenda Buchanan started mentoring to help kids in need and stumbled into a life-long friendship.
Inspired by an employee volunteering program at The Gap, Regina has turned service into a guiding aspect of her life.
The Kordenbrock-Riders have learned that the family that volunteers together, stays together, learns together, and grows together.
The Ross Family loves spending their family vacations building houses in Costa Rica.
As a Vietnam veteran, Donald wanted to give back and was determined to overcome a 12 year old felony charge and find a place that would accept his help.
SEO expert David de Souza is used to getting small websites noticed by big search engines. Now he's putting his skills to work for the International Professors Project to spur third-world education.
The Benedict family uses the power of the Internet to connect with an orphaned teen half a world away in South Africa.
Anthony Palmeri lived a life of service even before 9/11. Now, after spending nine months volunteering at Ground Zero, he uses his story as part of the healing process.
Growing up in Swaziland, where one in four adults has HIV, Sara Hooker was aware from a young age how some communities face extraordinary challenges.
While many people have multiple interests and varied talents, most of them have nothing on Gayatri Mahesh.
You can't choose your family, your natural hair color, or your personality. According to Chris Hartridge, you can't choose your volunteer work either.
Sure, extra-curricular activities look fabulous on college applications. But high school senior Jessica Brenner volunteers at Sunrise Assisted Living for one simple reason: she loves doing it!
While for many college students, a semester abroad is a nonstop vacation in a distant land, for Genna Duplisea it was a chance to get involved.
A fast food restaurant is an unlikely spot for cultural exchange, yet for Taryn Adams and her Bhutanese visitors, it was a moment of real connection.
Mary Cope, a dedicated volunteer at several hospitals and nursing homes throughout South Florida, admits it's her partner who often steals the show.
You can't really major in volunteering, but if you could your schedule might look a lot like Christine French's.
In late 2008, Mimi Schaefer made an ambitious New Years Resolution: she vowed to volunteer for a different nonprofit organization each month in 2009.
Easter Seals board chair Jerry Mattimore has been a volunteer leader with the organization for more than 30 years. "My involvement was very personal from the start," he says.
Pam Tardy was inspired by the work her mother and sister were doing as volunteers. Wanting to become a positive influence too, she chose to be a Big Sister.
Following his passion for social change, musician and CLIF® BAR GreenNotes artist Brett Dennen created his Love Speaks initiative to use his nightly platform to bridge music, people and work.
After retiring, and with her children grown and out of the house, Joan Gaudet was looking for somebody new to take care of.
When it comes to planning, Pam Farr is a hero. As national chair of volunteers for the American Red Cross, she is both a key executive leader and a spokesperson for emergency planning.
For Girl Scouts national president and chief volunteer Connie Lindsey, no challenge is too big and no one is too powerless to make an impact.
Growing up in a family with MS, Weyman Johnson feels lucky to be born at the "right time" to get treatment. Today he's on the national board of the National MS Society, helping lead the fight against the disease.
Becoming an overnight celebrity wasn't exactly what Gloria Osoba had in mind when she visited VolunteerMatch.org on March 13. With just one click, she became the 4-millionth person to refer themselves to an opportunity.
As an environmental activist and policy advisor, Nancy Pfeffer is used to fighting for the underdog. As a volunteer, she's putting her skills to use helping underprivileged teens go above and beyond their expectations.
Inspiring others to reach for their potential is no easy task, but middle-schooler Emily Friedman – no stranger to excellence herself – has made it her mission to teach other kids that they can exceed their own expectations.
Accountant Gene Ehlers knows that a day on the slopes means more than just exercise for individuals with disabilities -- it means the chance to break through personal boundaries.
Nancy Peyton found the perfect virtual opportunity with Cheerful Givers. Now she's providing birthday gifts to thousands of kids in need -- at her own pace and from the comfort of home!
Inspired by a movie trailer to make volunteering a priority in his life, a search at VolunteerMatch led business consultant Michael Nicklin to a life-changing opportunity.
As an In2Books mentor, volunteer Michelle Sullivan discovered that being a pen pal can be more than just fun and games. Today she’s helping a student in a school in an under-resourced neighborhood.
A mission to help suffering led Toni and JD Smith to start IMPACT Ministries. Today, from the Gulf Coast to Myanmar, IMPACT volunteers are reaching out to help when it is most needed.
There are good stories to be found in nearly every volunteer experience, but Laurie Scott is positive that hosting a foreign exchange student produces some of the greatest.
Thanks to Lynnette Letsky Piombo, brains, beauty, and a commitment to family won’t be the only things on stage during this year's Mrs. United States contest – so will the ideal of giving back.
As an early educator and former lawyer, Kate So certainly has the background to be a Voices for Children volunteer. But what makes her perfect for it is her empathy, openness and even wonder.
Joe Alcodray is paying it forward with his new Web site RandomKindActs.com, and now he wants others to share their personal encounters with random acts of kindness.
Be careful! Volunteering may be good for the heart, according to Amanda McGlothlin and Heart House of Austin.
Life-long bicycle fanatic Doug Long was smart about volunteering and took his passion for the sport to his volunteer work with kids.
For Laura Schmitz, volunteering provides a language of its own allowing her to build friendships with the children of Baja California.
Undaunted by today's headlines, Cora Judd chose to get active.
Jeannie Whyte knows firsthand about the resilience of people and their desire to improve their lives even in the face of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina.
Karen Tourney is a proud American Indian who knows that promoting and protecting your native culture and history can be also be rewarding way to volunteer your time.
Longtime volunteer Gary Helton (pictured, at right) has been making a difference abroad as a retired Peace Corps volunteer and in his own community as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Want to leave the country, learn something new, and immerse yourself into a new culture? Meet Darlene Grieger and learn about what "voluntourism" and Cross-Cultural Solutions is all about.
Peter Yedidia and Taproot Foundation are working to get nonprofits in touch with top notch marketing, technical and executive-level expertise one volunteer at a time.
To one person, you can mean the world, which is why Stephanie Allen believes volunteering with Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation could make all the difference to the life of a child.
Flora Mortell believes knowledge about MS is power and has partnered with the National MS Society of Greater Illinois to share that knowledge with the world.
Melanie Washington works hard to make sure people don't forget our incarcerated youth because they are still children and they need our help.
Patsy Wilcher volunteers because even if "you may never know the difference you've made, the impact is there."
Talented producer Jilladair Carlson doesn't let anything get in the way of her creativity, and she's using her music to let the world know that, sometimes, "Everybody Falls".
Volunteer Coordinator Katie Lee and Hope4KidZ, Inc. want people to know that foster kids are one of the most vulnerable and forgotten groups in our society.
Chased from Corporate America by his MS, Bob Gregory now uses his drive and ambition to help the Myelin Repair Foundation.
Joy Perryman thinks becoming part of the media is a great way to volunteer virtually.
Busy New Yorker Lesley Stewart used VolunteerMatch to find the perfect volunteer opportunity.
The American Red Cross welcomes all kinds of skills, as graphic designer Chris O'Brien is discovering.
Molly Morris is one of a score of volunteers who have found opportunities to give back through the VolunteerMatch's recruitment partnership with the American Red Cross.
City of Dreams' Nicole Hancock knows just how powerful mentoring is for a young person and what a positive influence a great volunteer can be.