Hobby-volunteerism is a term we at GozAround define as using volunteering as an outlet for your talents which for many people is artistic expression.  What better way to enjoy giving back than to turn your artistic gifts into a volunteer role?!  No matter what artistic medium you use—whether it’s dance, music, fine arts, or knitting— you can turn your hobby into an opportunity to give back! Hobby-volunteerism can also be a rewarding way to enhance your portfolio as an artist.  This article is dedicated to all you creators looking to use your passion for art to make the world a better place. Here are a few ideas and if the particular organization isn’t in your area, try looking for something similar nearby or post your offer to help on GozAround.

1. Graphic designer —> If you are a graphic designer, you could use your flare for web design to help a nonprofit or start-up company revamp their website homepage, printed materials or branding. Better presentation will help attract more support to their cause.

2. Photographer—> Are you “quite the photog”?  You could volunteer to take photos at community events, take photos for menus of a new restaurant, or take photos of animals needing homes at an animal shelter like the SPCA.

3. Knitter —> For all you knitters out there,  the Knitted Knockers is a group that makes handmade prosthetics for women who have undergone mastectomies.  Unlike other prosthetics, these are comfortable, easily adjustable to the individual, and provided for free.  Or maybe a local hospital would like blankets for people undergoing treatment.

4. Fashionista—> Maybe you have a passion for fashion. You could volunteer as a wardrobe consultant with Dress for Success, a nonprofit that helps women getting back into the workforce to select professional articles of clothing and accessories to ensure that when they start work, style will be the least of their concerns.

5. Painter—> Why not volunteer at paint nights at a senior’s home or at a homeless shelter? What an excellent way to share your talents which those who could use it most! Or consider donating your work to charity auctions and see just how much money your talents can raise.

6. Musician—> Why not use the transformational power of music to make the world a better place?  If you are already part of a band, reaching out to a nonprofit organizations hosting an event is great way to get your name out there!  You could also use the healing power of music to help patients in hospitals feel better by volunteering with Musicians on Call.  If you love kids, Revolution of Hope is an after school program that fosters hope and musicality in inner-city youth.

7. Actor—> If you have  passion for the theatre, you could volunteer as an usher for a local performance.  The International Fringe Festival needs volunteers to help them put on a colourful array of dramatic and artisan performances throughout the year.  If you’re looking to make a name for yourself as an actor, why not volunteer to be part of a cast or crew for an independent, low-budget film?!  If you are a clown at heart, you could don your red nose on a trip to the local children’s hospital. Laughter is the best medicine, after all!

8. Quilter—>Are you into quilting?  You can volunteer your unique talent by becoming a part of Quilts of Valour, a Canadian nonprofit that gives handmade quilts to members of the Canadian Forces.  What a fun and creative way to support our troops!

9. Dancer—> If you’re a dancer then you know just how much work it is to put on a polished dance recital. Many dance studios would benefit from volunteer ticket collectors, concession sales, and backstage chaperones.  You could teach youth how to get their groove on by volunteering with The Footprints Dance Project.  This nonprofit enables children facing economic, physical, and social barriers to be given the opportunity to express themselves through dance.

10. Culinary Arts—> Would you like to help kids become mini-chefs? Now you can, by volunteering with the Growing Chef’s volunteer organization.  Pass on your knowledge of growing and cooking your own food to perfection to kids eager to learn!

As discussed in our blog on the five traits of a positive mindset, using your strengths and virtues for the greater good is scientifically proven to increase your happiness! As the saying goes “love what you do, and you never work a day in your life.”  Why not use volunteering and your unique gifts as a method to passionately give back to society, while at the same time developing your artistic talents and portfolio?  In the comments below, we at GozAround would love to hear what kind of hobby-volunteerism you are excited to start!