As we continue this journey of “Walking in Solidarity,” we take a moment reflect on how we might act. To go along with this week’s theme of outreach and charity, we have some suggestions, traditional and nontraditional, on how you might impact others.

Lent is a time of personal reflection and prayer, of reexamining our path to Christ. “Am I on the right track?” “What should I be doing?” are questions we might be looking to answer. Part of that path includes, “How am I walking with others?” “Am I walking in the footsteps of Christ?” To walk in the footsteps of Christ is to mirror his ministry, his ministry to the poor, the sick, the hungry, those just in need of a friend.

Whether you are looking for something local and small or global and long-term, there’s a program out there for you to practice that ministry. There are many search engines on the internet dedicated to helping you find your perfect volunteer match.

VolunteerMatch
http://franciscanmissionservice.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ss_vol_match_logo.jpgThis is a very general site. Upon entering your location and a keyword for the kind of volunteering you’re looking to do, you get a list of nonprofits in your area just waiting for you to come join their cause. There is the option of “advanced search” to further focus your list on more specific details like categories of causes and age ranges. Once you’ve chosen an organization you click the “I want to help!” button and fill in your contact information.

Catholic Volunteer Network

http://franciscanmissionservice.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/catholic_volunteer_network.jpg

Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN) is a database of faith-based (most Catholic, some not) organizations placing an importance on service and spiritual growth. CVN is a great place to check-out if you are looking for more long-term or full-time volunteer opportunities. The search engine allows you to look by defining where, when, for how long, and doing what. You can also search for specific Ameircorp placements.

SmartVolunteer
http://smartvolunteer.org/UI/Images/logo_230dpi.jpgIf you are a professional looking to offer your professional skills to an organization in need, then this is the right site for you. SmartVolunteer pairs your search parameters with opportunities in your area unique to your talents and training. Are you a marine biologist? There’s a place for you! A Plumber? You bet your needed!

These are just a few of the opportunities out there for one looking to impact others on their walk with Christ.

Do you currently volunteer? How did you find your perfect placement?