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Doing Good by Leaps and Bounds: 29 Ways to Make a Difference

by Samantha Jo Warfield

Volunteers create a wall mural in the library of West Education Campus, a K - 8 public school in Washington, DC. The volunteers were at the school as part of a September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance event organized by HandsOn Greater DC Cares and U.S. Vets -- United States Veterans Initiative. The event was attended by over 200 White House and Corporation for National and Community Staff and their families. (Corporation photo by Sam Kittner, 2011)

Every four years, we're given one extra day, a leap day. That's 24 extra hours to spend however you wish. Why not spend a few of those hours making a difference?

Inspired by the AmeriCorps Alums, here's a list of 29 ways to use your extra time for good.

  1. Become a mentor.
  2. Subscribe to the National Service blog.
  3. Organize a community volunteer project.
  4. Get CPR certified.
  5. Sign up for a charity ride or race.
  6. Help someone out of work with their resume or job search.
  7. Join the bone marrow registry.
  8. Read with a child and teach them something new.
  9. Contribute to cleaner air and walk or bike to work instead of driving.
  10. Find a volunteer opportunity on serve.gov.
  11. Volunteer as an income tax preparer.
  12. Tell a veteran or military family member thank you.
  13. Bring someone new with you when you volunteer.
  14. Save a life, donate blood.
  15. Check in on an elderly or senior neighbor.
  16. Consider micro volunteering with an organization like Sparked.
  17. Assist a nonprofit with posting their volunteer opportunities to the All for Good search engine on serve.gov
  18. Donate to a local food bank. Food pantries are often in need during non-holiday seasons.
  19. Sign up for email updates from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  20. Help a veteran tell their story through an oral history project.
  21. Clean your closets, attic, basement or garage and donate gently used items to an organization in need
  22. Volunteer to serve on a nonprofit board of directors.
  23. Take a volunteer vacation.
  24. Adopt an animal from a local shelter.
  25. Find out what National Service is up to in your state.
  26. Replace old lightbulbs with energy efficient ones and turn off appliances when you're not using them.
  27. Commit to performing a random act of kindness each day, week, or month.
  28. Follow the National Service family through social media! Follow our twitter channels: @servedotgov @americorps @nationalservice and like Serve.Gov, the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps or Senior Corps on Facebook.
  29. Consider joining the National Service family by becoming an AmeriCorps or Senior Corps member.
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