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5 Quick Ideas for the 10-Minute Volunteer

You’ve got a big schedule, loaded with responsibilities. But you also have a big heart and want to find ways to help. You can make a difference in the lives of others, even if you only have a few minutes to spare. Here are a few ideas.

Start small. Micro small.

You may have heard of microvolunteering, but this philosophy of making a big difference through tiny tasks continues to pick up steam. Voluntary Arts explains some of the benefits of this growing field and offers several opportunities of their own. When lots of microvolunteers get together, they can make an impact greater than the sum of their parts. Crowd4U invites you to crowdsource for good and perform microtasks that make the world a better place.

Bring the world together, one minute at a time.

The United Nations operates a volunteer program that allows organizations and volunteers to “team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device.” Among more than 100 opportunities listed on their site are writing and editing, art and design, translation and advocacy.

Turn a haircut into a dream come true.

The haircut may take more than ten minutes, but you were going to do that anyway, right? If you’ve got long locks and are thinking of going short, think about donating to or Your ponytail that would otherwise be thrown away can become a full head of hair for a cancer patient who’s lost her own. Just make sure it meets the organization’s minimum length, and take a few moments to mail it in.

Break something big into bite-size chunks.

Making clothing or blankets for people in need is a great way to make a difference while passing the time. But if you only have a few minutes per day to spare, you can do what you can, a little at a time. It may take you a year to knit a single beanie, but it could make someone’s year when you donate it to Knots of Love. And if knitting blankets for kids is more your bag, no matter how long it takes, Project Linus will be there with open arms.

Lift spirits in the neighborhood.

Whether you live in an apartment complex, a subdivision, or the countryside, you can always find small ways to make a difference without spending much time. Taking a long walk? Take a bag and pick up trash and recycling along your route. Handy around the home? Post a flyer on your community board offering to clear a drain, fix a leak or paint some trim. And if you live near someone who’s physically challenged, you can make a world of difference just offering to lift a box, rearrange a piece of furniture, or put the finishing touches on a task they’ve been putting off.

For more ideas and inspiration, try this simple search and use keywords “microvolunteer” or “part time.”

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