By Lacy Barker
Each volunteer is unique. We all have our own passions, talents, and senses of humor to offer to a volunteer project. Your personality should absolutely be allowed to shine on your volunteer trip, whether traveling solo or in a group. The best volunteers are creative people who allow their imaginations to fuel their excitement and passion.
At times, volunteering can be overwhelming and unpredictable or repetitive and mundane. Both extremes benefit from creativity, which helps keep volunteering fun and helps stave off exhaustion and stress.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a naturally creative person, there are many sources of creativity built into your life.
Consider the following 3 things:
1. Your hobbies
Most of us have at least one thing we like to do just because we like to do it. Identify yours, and think about how you could bring your love for ______ (flying kites, baking desserts, writing poetry, participating in a fantasy football league, etc.) into your volunteer experience.
2. Your career
What skills and passions do you use on a day-to-day basis at work could you bring to your team or project? It’s easy to overlook how valuable the tasks you do all the time could be a volunteer trip. Consider crative ways to incorporate what you do best.
3. Your social networks
Before your trip, poll your family and friends in person and online for great ideas. Talk to other people who’ve been on volunteer trips and ask for their advice. The best creative resources are often sitting right next to you.
(Photo: Volunteers at the Kenya Children’s Fund paint a mural in the Secondary School common area.)