April 25, 2024
Anthony Orlich

Anthony Orlich on Making a Difference – Volunteering with Disabled Children

Dedicated community advocate, Anthony Orlich, is no stranger to volunteering, yet his true fervor lies in his unwavering commitment to empowering children with disabilities. In the following article, Anthony Orlich sheds light on the profound impact and significance of working with these exceptional young individuals.

It’s estimated that 1.3 billion people – that’s 16% of the global population – experience a significant physical or intellectual disability, making the disabled community the world’s largest minority. Children with disabilities can feel particularly isolated from their peers due to their differences, and can benefit greatly from support and mentorship from adults. Volunteering can be a wonderful way to help them bridge the gap.

Anthony Orlich explores how to build bridges of inclusion and make a difference through volunteering with these inspirational individuals.

Anthony Orlich Explains Why We Should Volunteer

There are so many volunteer opportunities available – soup kitchens, animal shelters, food pantries, community construction projects, hospitals – so many that the list can seem endless. One might assume that volunteering with kids with disabilities could be awkward or uncomfortable, but that could not be farther from the truth. There are so many great reasons to choose to work with these children that benefit both the kids and the volunteers.

Make an Impact

Anthony Orlich says that working with a child with disabilities can have a profound effect on that child’s life. It helps to break down the communication barrier that often exists between that child and the non-disabled world. As they begin to develop a deeper connection with a volunteer or mentor, they may find it easier to communicate with and relate to others as well. Volunteering with them can also relieve social pressure, and help them build more confidence in “mainstream society.”

Decrease Social Stigmas and Promote Inclusion

Anthony Orlich says that offering friendship to a child with disabilities as a volunteer can help decrease social stigmas around those disabilities. As individuals witness engagement, shared laughter, and genuine bonds forming between them and children with disabilities, the broader community gradually acknowledges these remarkable young members through their interactions. Embracing the role of an ally serves as a remarkable avenue to champion inclusion and foster a sense of belonging.

Develop a Connected Community

Building connections with disabled children will help strengthen the bonds of the community overall, as everyone mixes and mingles together and finds common ground and shared interests.

Increase Mental Health

Anthony Orlich explains that volunteering with children with disabilities is not only good for the children’s mental health – it’s also good for the volunteer! Volunteering has been proven to combat stress, anxiety, depression, and anger issues by offering fun, satisfaction, and greater overall meaning to one’s life.

How to Volunteer

There are a few steps to consider if when looking to volunteer with kids with disabilities.

Anthony Orlich
Pick an Activity to Connect With

Anthony Orlich says that before picking an organization or even a specific child to work with, first take a moment to think about what kinds of activities that might translate well within the disabled community. Perhaps a personal love of sports would inspire coaching a sports team for handicapped kids. Or maybe consider sharing a love of music, the arts, or a specific educational topic. Sharing a favorite hobby with a disabled child can re-ignite passion for it and even lead individuals down pathways that may have never have otherwise discovered.

Maybe a volunteer is looking to develop their own professional skills – depending on the organization, a person might be able to find a rewarding volunteer gig that also doubles as a resume booster. Or, if for those who are particularly socially conscious, maybe gravitate toward a specific cause and advocate for it through the work.

Consider the Contribution

Anthony Orlich emphasizes the significance of assessing one’s potential contributions. Delve into your repertoire of skills and contemplate if there’s a particular expertise to impart or a unique contribution to offer to a specific cause. Identify the talents that hold value for organizations and meticulously gauge the extent of time that can be set aside to volunteer work – whether measured in days, weeks, or months. Armed with this self-awareness, connect with an organization poised to reap the rewards of your time, dedication, and expertise.

Find an Organization that Welcomes Volunteers

Organizations like Pathways of Pennsylvania that provide behavioral and mental health services to communities, including children with disabilities, can be a great resource for volunteer opportunities. Special schools and after-school programs, as well as part- or full-time residence facilities may also benefit from your assistance.

In Conclusion

Anthony Orlich says that volunteering with children with disabilities can offer a variety of benefits to both the kids and the volunteers. Take the time to evaluate how to contribute, research organizations in needs, and then get out there to make wonderful memories and connections.