How many times have you read a story about someone, a kid, or maybe a family, that's in a bad way and needs help?  Every day we see sad stories and think, "I wish I can help, but I just can't afford it now."

There's an organization called Volunteer Match.  It's a nationwide organization that works to help people locally.  It's a cool concept that you probably aren't aware of.  It's kind of like a clearinghouse of information about how you can help in South Jersey.  What makes this site unique, is that they aren't seeking money.  Rather, it matches you with organizations that need people with your skills, talents, and interests.

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How it works:  click on the link above and it will take you to their website.  You'll notice a box in the middle of the page.  Enter the city or zip code of where you live, and it will take you to a page that lists organizations in your area that need help.

At the top of the page, you'll have an opportunity to answer some questions about yourself and what your interests are.  A drop-down menu will allow you to choose causes that interest you.  Another dropdown menu will ask about your skills, and finally, another menu lets you choose organizations within a specified distance and whether or not it's a good match for kids.

Once these steps are complete, a list of organizations that fit your answers will appear and provide you with information on how you can help.  Many of these opportunities, allow you to help right from your home.

For instance, if you're a veteran, you can help brighten the life of someone in hospice care by donating as little as an hour per month.  Are you passionate about the Absecon Lighthouse?  They depend on volunteers to help provide tours and education.  Maybe animals are important to you.  Dogs for Better Lives Puppy Raising Program in Egg Harbor invites your help.  The opportunities are endless.  Donate as little or as much time as you want.

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