The Busy Woman's Guide to Volunteering
If you have one day a month: Reach out to a troubled teen mother. Project Cuddle helps young mothers and rescues abandoned babies. You might take a girl to appointments with her doctor or assist at her baby's birth. Call 888-628-3353 or visit www.projectcuddle.org.
If you have one day a week: Be a mentor. The National Mentoring Partnership will help match you with a child in your area, and once a week you'll spend the day doing just about anything together–from going to a movie to helping with homework. Call 703-224-2200 or visit www.mentoring.org.
If you have one day a month: Volunteer to be a personal shopper for Dress for Success. Working at one of the various stores where the group houses its donated clothes, you'll spend the day helping disadvantaged women shop for a free work outfit. Log on to www.dressforsuccess.org to find a chapter near you.
If you have one day a week: Be a phone counselor for a rape crisis line. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network's 24-hour hotline, run mostly by volunteers, receives more calls during the holidays than at any other time of year. Call 800-656-4673 or visit www.rainn.org.
If you have one day a month: Call Compassion in Action, which matches volunteers with elderly people who are dying and have no companions. You'll be asked to sit at a patient's bedside. For details, visit www.thetwilightbrigade.com.
If you have one day a week: Deliver holiday meals to elderly people living alone. Meals on Wheels of America has more than 800 programs around the country. To find one near you, log on to www.projectmeal.org.
For more ideas, log on to www.volunteermatch.org or call the Points of Light Foundation at 1-800-VOLUNTEER. These services will match you with an organization suited to your interests and time limits.
Next: 5 ways to use your skills to give back