How to Incorporate Volunteerism Into Your Routine

Editor’s Note: The Harlequin More Than Words award recipients have a wealth of experience to share, so to celebrate National Volunteer Week (April 18-24), we asked each of them to provide their tips for adding volunteerism to a busy schedule. Each day this week, one award recipient will offer her creative ways for getting fulfillment and satisfaction from some time and energy well spent!

Roni Lomeli, Executive Director of Shoes That Fit— which provides new shoes to children in need for school—shares her ideas for incorporating volunteerism into your routine:

Start small so you can feel the success and build from there.

Do something you are passionate about.  If you love shoes (or didn’t have them growing up) start a Shoes That Fit Chapter in your community. If you love to read, volunteer with a literacy program or read with kids at school.  Do you love animals?  Check out your local shelter, there are many opportunities to help there.

Don’t reinvent the wheel.  Tie yourself into an existing charity that works in the area you’re interested.  It’s probably out there already.

Involve your children!  Kids are compassionate and love to feel that they can make a difference, too.  You are spending time with your kids, teaching them about giving and thinking about others.  They don’t learn it by themselves.  Hopefully, they too will pass it on to their own children.

Tie your giving into what you already do.  When you are at the grocery store, pick up extra food for the food bank.  Shopping for shoes, pick up an extra pair for a child in need.


We’d love to hear about your volunteer experiences. How has your life been enriched by your volunteer activities?  Comment today for a chance to win a FREE copy of More Than Words, Volume 6 which includes Maureen Child’s novella THE PRINCESS SHOES, inspired by Roni Lomeli. Ms. Child will personalize an autographed copy especially for the winner! Contest closes at 11:59 pm EST tonight and is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. For full contest details, please see here.

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Comments ( 10 )
  1. Tweets that mention How to Incorporate Volunteerism Into Your Routine - Harlequin Blog -- Topsy.com
    April 21, 2010 at 9:41 am
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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Harlequin Books. Harlequin Books said: National Volunteer Week continues – check out Roni's post on volunteering with a busy schedule. Get a FREE book! http://bit.ly/95MmTg […]

  2. Lee Kane
    April 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    Reply

    Great ideas from Roni, especially the part about involving your children. Kids love it when they feel like they matter, their opinions count and they can make a difference. When I’m shopping for Shoes That Fit kids, I take my kids with me and have them pick out shoes they think other kids would like. It’s actually a lot of fun!

  3. Laura Barth
    April 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm
    Reply

    Excellent suggestions, Roni. I especially like your recommendation to volunteer at something you’re passionate about. That way you look forward to going, and it doesn’t feel like work.

  4. Lisa Ponce
    April 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    Reply

    As a pediatrician, I echo Roni’s excellent suggestion to get your kids involved in volunteer/community activities. It’s never to early to instill the notion that we have to do what we can for the betterment of all.
    Thanks so much, Roni, for everything you and Shoes that Fit
    does!

  5. Michael Fay
    April 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm
    Reply

    Great advice from her long experience. Roni walk’s her talk.

  6. Laurie Agard
    April 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm
    Reply

    As a mother of an 8 year old, I love the idea of involving my son with volunteer activities. Thanks, Roni. Keep up the great work!

  7. Trina
    April 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm
    Reply

    I have been thinking about volunteering but am undecided about where and what. These suggestions are both inspiring and practical, thanks!

  8. Maureen Child
    April 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm
    Reply

    I was so honored to write the story about Roni’s organization. The more I learned about it, the more touched I was.

    It’s amazing to me that in this day and age, there are so many children doing without something as basic and necessary as a pair of shoes.

    Shoes That Fit is the perfect charity to get your children involved in. They get to help other kids and realize just how much they have to be thankful for in their own lives.

    Roni, you are an amazing woman and I really do salute you for all that you and your organization do!

  9. Megan Lorius
    April 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm
    Reply

    Congratulations Laurie Agard! You are the winner of Wednesday’s book draw. Maureen Child will personalize a copy of MORE THAN WORDS, VOL 6 just for you! Look for an email from me with more details.

    Thank you everyone for your comments and warm words for Roni!

  10. Roni Lomeli
    April 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm
    Reply

    Thanks to everyone who commented! All of the charities recognized by Harlequin’s More Than Words award are great causes & the writers did a beautiful job with each story. This was a wonderful opportunity for Shoes That Fit & we are honored to have worked with such an amazing author! To all you volunteers past, present & future; Thank You!

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