Besides the obvious reasons of helping others and contributing to great causes, volunteering can also help people develop new skills and talents plus you get to learn about your community. Check out the best organizations to volunteer at this summer!

Volunteering is a way to meet new people, test and challenge yourself, foster leadership skills, and gain a sense of accomplishment. We’ve all heard that to give is better than to receive.

From teaching kids to read and helping at an animal shelter to building houses and spending time with hospice patients and everything in between, volunteer opportunities are endless. You just have to know where to look and have a heart to help.

Habitat for Humanity: This Christian housing ministry has helped build over 500,000 homes for over 2.5 million people worldwide. Habitat volunteers donate time, money, and materials and build affordable, simple homes that even low-income families can purchase.

Literacy Programs offered through the local Lawton library can help a child (or even an adult) learn to read is one of the most valuable gifts that can be given.  Also schools and churches often have after-school programs for those who need or want help reading and/or have been recommended to join a literacy program.

Animal Shelters: If you love animals and want to see all good pets go to a good home, volunteering at an animal shelter is for you. Tasks you can perform at animal shelters include training animals, cleaning and building cages, making phone calls and doing general office work, and even taking pictures for the shelter’s website. And who knows, you might even end up with a new pet…or two. Lawton Humane Society offers a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Nursing Homes: Nursing home volunteers get to interact with residents, help with game nights and dances, hear interesting stories, and make new friends, among other things. Life in a nursing home can be scary and frustrating, so volunteers simply sitting and chatting with the residents makes a huge difference. Check out www.idealist.org to find nursing home volunteer opportunities in Lawton.

These are just a few of the endless volunteer opportunities available. Volunteermatch.org is an excellent resource for local volunteer opportunities. The site allows you to search for organizations by location and keyword, so there’s something for everyone.

What are some of your favorite organizations you like to help out? Tell us and will add them to our post!