Volunteer opportunities are available all summer long at the Henry Ford Museum. (Photo courtesy of Michael Elliot)
Volunteer opportunities are available all summer long at the Henry Ford Museum. (Photo courtesy of Michael Elliott)

BY LINDSEY DESMET, Guest Writer

With the first month of the year coming to an end, you may have already broken some of your New Year’s resolutions. Luckily, for those who made a resolution to do something good this year, February is not too late to get started.

With the recent success of U of M – Dearborn’s volunteer fair and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, it appears that many students are on board with this resolution. If you haven’t been able to find the right opportunity to suit your interests or schedule, here are a few more unique ways for you to make a positive impact in Metro Detroit.

With funding decreasing every year, city libraries need more volunteer help now than ever before. They tend to offer very flexible, “create-your-own” schedules for volunteers. Tasks can include shelving, organizing, processing new books, assisting librarians with office tasks, or even becoming involved with hands-on programs for young readers. Visit your own local library’s website, or to apply with the Dearborn libraries, head to dearbornlibrary.org and click the “Volunteer” link on the left-hand sidebar.

If you’d rather spend your time in the great outdoors than working in a library, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary may be of interest to you. The USCG Auxiliary works at events to promote boating safety, offers safety classes to the public, patrols on the Detroit River during weekends and watersport events, and assists the Coast Guard in rescue and recovery missions. Awards and leadership opportunities are also available through this organization. Visit join.cgaux.org and sign up to receive more information from your local flotilla.

If you love the outdoors but don’t quite have the sea legs required for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak and the Belle Isle Nature Zoo in Detroit also offer a great number of opportunities, ranging from interacting with both animals and guests as a part of the Australian Outback Adventure exhibit’s “Mob Squad” to utilizing your green thumb by gardening. For more information, visit detroitzoo.org and click on the “Support Us” tab.

And finally, for history buffs, there’s probably no better place in Dearborn to volunteer than the Henry Ford Museum and the Greenfield Village. This historic complex offers not only a very wide variety of tasks to choose from, but also free admission to both the Museum and the Village for volunteers! Time commitments range from a few days a year to a couple of days each week, and tasks can be anything from helping run the carousel in the Village to working on craft projects with visiting students. Download an application under the “Membership/Support” tab at hfmgv.org to get started.