Most lovers of animals, plants, and/or nature would agree that they have, at some point, had the desire to volunteer their time and services somewhere, in one form or another. Helping others, especially those in need, risk, or danger, is a common urge but not everyone turns those desires into action. However, luckily, millions of people make the decision to volunteer every year.

There is an endless list of places that accept volunteers; however, some of the most popular include conservations and other nature preserves. Typical duties can range from building and restoring habitats and performing other maintenance tasks, to helping with fundraising activities, special events, and daily procedures, like bookkeeping and paperwork. They often can advance in their positions over time and provide assistance with exciting projects like ecological surveys, guided tours, the identification of wildlife, organizing and running local groups, and countless other responsibilities.

People can offer their support in a myriad of other ways as well, such as participating in or starting charity runs and other fundraisers, offering time and assistance at local humane societies, veterinary clinics, parks, zoos, aquariums, and other facilities, donating funds directly, or even traveling overseas to provide aid.

Spending time as a volunteer not only benefits the conservation and their causes but it can also have a tremendous impact on the individual as well. In fact, the majority of volunteers state that their work, whether it was brief or long-lasting, was incredibly meaningful, eye-opening, and life-changing in many cases.

While receiving much-needed assistance through these programs, conservations also impart knowledge, teach skills, and offer guidance and hands-on experience for participants in nearly every aspect of the work. These assignments can help determine one’s interests, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses, hone skills, and often become perfect “launching pads” for volunteers to spring forward into their own individual career paths and specific field positions. These dedicated helpers often continue their work in some form, by either remaining in their current positions if possible, pursuing different careers in the field, or finding other altruistic opportunities.

Those who have volunteered in the past and wish to do so again at a conservation, or those who feel the passion and courage to take part for the first time can find more information about how to become a volunteer online.