I appreciated the variety in your piece on volunteerism (April 27: “Jobless fill lull by volunteering”) and the
volunteer programs at Indy Reads, IRIS, Damar Services and Second Helpings.
As the article pointed out, there are many factors involved in the decision to volunteer in the community—including
time commitment, the opportunities for building social networks, the skill set needed for the volunteer position, and of course
the mission of the organization.
Every volunteer is looking for a meaningful experience and every volunteer’s definition of “meaningful”
is different. A good volunteer manager will seek to place a volunteer with a role that is a good fit for him or her. Indy
Reads offers a variety of volunteer positions to meet the different levels of commitment and skills that our volunteers can
It is important to note that not everyone has to make volunteering a “full-time” job. If someone only has a few
hours a month to give, they can still make an impact. A volunteer for Indy Reads who has a passion for reading and teaching
could choose to take our training to become a literacy tutor and volunteer regularly, or he or she could choose to volunteer
more periodically as a reading coach, interviewer or Indy Reads ambassador.
When looking for a way to give back to your community, finding the right fit is essential. I encourage everyone to attend
at least one volunteer orientation or information session this year to learn more about ways to serve Indianapolis and to
find that volunteer role that is just right for you.
Manager of volunteers, Indy Reads