Where do you go when you want to meet people, and yet do something good at the same time? Columbus Gives Back.
Who are they?
Columbus Gives Back is a non-profit which provides social volunteer and philanthropic opportunities throughout central Ohio. They organize events which are meaningful for both their volunteers and the groups they serve — and they have a nice twist of socializing to foster connections and develop stronger ties to the city. What I love about their approach is that they’re open to everyone, with a single purpose of make it super easy to join in cool projects.
And they are growing like crazy — because so many people want an easy way to volunteer, and it’s an awesome way to meet other people who love to get involved.
Who volunteers with Columbus Gives Back?
Think about it: when you’re new to a city, and you don’t know a ton of people, how do you get involved? This is what they’re after — when you volunteer in the community you not only bond with your fellow volunteers, but you also learn about where you live.
Alfred described it best:
My favorite conversations at our events are about how long volunteers have been in Columbus. There are plenty of lifers here (I am one of them), but there are so many who respond: “I just moved three months ago or four months ago, or six months ago. I just moved here two weeks ago, and I want to get involved”, and this wasn’t the case four years ago. Everybody knows that Columbus is as a hot city right now – we are we are moving in talented educated people.
What is it like volunteering with them?
Amanda stressed that they strive to be open for everyone — you can come with a friend, but you can also come on your own. Each project has a team leader to make sure everyone feels welcome and is comfortable getting involved. The whole point is to get to serve, socialize and have fun.
Amanda described this spirit with a great story:
There was one time we had this event at the Broad Street Food Pantry, where we go monthly. This one time it happened to be closed. We had a handful of volunteers show up who were ready to give back, and so we just found someone at the Broad Street Presbyterian Church, and were like, “listen, we came to volunteer, but the opportunity we came for is not available… what can we do to help you guys out?” And they just happen to need help cleaning the walls in their Nursery before they repainted the room. And our volunteers were like yes, we will absolutely do that!
We were recording at the Columbus Public Library, and we ran into one of their Team Leaders, Evan Miller: the camaraderie was visible. They’re fun, easy to connect with, and possibly growing to 2,000 volunteers this year. (Listen all the way to the end of the podcast if you’re curious why this is important.)
So check them out!
You can find them at columbusgivesback.org – with about 30 events a month, you can easily find an event which fits your schedule, gets you out and helping out in the community and making a difference without the complications of arranging your own service projects.