Moving to a new duty station comes with many challenges. From finding housing to learning where the best grocery store is located to connecting with others in a meaningful way, all of these and more make it difficult to PCS. However, it’s important not to overlook the ability to find a hobby or get involved with the local community.
Doing so can be a great way to provide some self-fulfillment and more. Take a look at these perks of volunteering, as well as places you can lend your efforts.
The Benefits of Volunteering as a MilSpouse
Military spouses are no strangers to moving. You know what it’s like to end up in a new town, a new base where you don’t know a soul. You also know how difficult this can be. It’s hard to get settled when you’re a stranger in town. Let alone making actual connections with people.
That’s why we recommend volunteering as a great way to get settled. While you may feel like there’s no time to give, making room in your schedule can actually open up several windows of opportunity. Such as:
- Making friends
- Learning skills
- Building a resume
- Helping the community
- Networking/making connections
- Getting out of the house!
Of course, no one is suggesting you volunteer the day after a PCS. But once you feel ready and are somewhat settled, consider reaching out to those around you. There are many options in which you can take young children along with you, or you can work around drop-off/pick-up schedules so all of your parenting responsibilities are still fulfilled.
Examples of Where to Volunteer
There are several places that are just itching for volunteers. From national chapters, to local independent groups, you can find a platform that interests you personally. Reach out and research what’s around you in order to find a good fit. You can cold email and ask for volunteer opportunities, or work through a local group where you can be placed with an existing organization.
- Girl Scouts (including overseas)
- Boy Scouts (including overseas)
- Kid Organizations
- Local Community Organizations
Navy and Marine spouses can find opportunities through NMCRS, that’s Navy-Marine Corps Relief Services.
Coast Guard spouses can find opportunities with Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.
Meanwhile, be sure to check out opportunities on post, such as thrift stores, kids’ programs, fundraisers for companies, and more.
Putting Your Skills to Work
Volunteering can be a good thing in and of itself. But there’s also much you can get out of the process, too. If you’re looking for a job, volunteering can lead you into a position, or help boost your resume while looking. Meanwhile, you can make connections with those who may know about positions or those you may want to use as a local reference.
Volunteering can also give you the chance to stretch previous skills while learning new ones along the way. It’s a great way to challenge yourself while doing something that you love. Even if you aren’t looking for a job, volunteering can allow you to flex your creative muscles while having fun in the process.