Sunday: Volunteering

Hey there! Ready for Challenge #1? Today we are challenging you to volunteer! It should come as no surprise that a non-profit organization is advocating for increased volunteerism. There are hundreds of good reasons to volunteer, so rather than overwhelm you with a lengthy list,  we are going to share three ways that volunteering benefits the environment. Then read on for a whole slew of opportunities to get involved in your community this month, both in Coastal Alabama and around the country.

  1. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to learn and experience something new. The more you learn about your community and your environment, the more you care. If you care about something and have a personal connection, you will work harder to protect it.
  2. Volunteer hours save money. Volunteering your time frees up resources for other uses, which increases the work that an organization can do.
  3. When volunteers turn out in force to contribute to a project, their commitment of time and effort sends the message to the community, to local leadership, and even to the whole nation, that this work is important to them.

For a real life example of all of the above, look no further than the 100-1000 Restore Coastal Alabama volunteer oyster reef building project of January 2011. Over 500 volunteers turned out on two of the coldest January days that Coastal Alabama has ever seen. Volunteers came from all over the country, and we made the national news! Check it out here.

This is also a good time to mention that the 100-1000 Restore Coastal Alabama project is far from over. Keep checking back with Mobile Baykeeper and for our next oyster reef building event!

Here are some more great ways to get involved:

  • For Alabama’s coastal counties, check out our Volunteer Opportunities page (see above).
  • To find volunteer events and positions throughout the United States, check in with HandsOn Network, or your local chapter of HandsOn.
  • For events that strive towards increased sustainability in our environment and in our communities, check out Wiser Earth, The Social Network for Sustainability. Search for events near you as well as other resources about getting involved and making a difference.

Don’t just take our word for it. Get out there and make a difference! Let us know where you volunteered, what you liked about the experience, and, if you get a chance, snap a picture and send it in. Bonus points if you convince a friend or family member to join you!