I’m fortunate to have had many opportunities during my working career, and it’s my turn to give back, now that I have the time. My motivations are not entirely altruistic, however. I get a lot out of it too. Here’s a great essay about why you should volunteer.
If you are looking for opportunities to volunteer, a great resource is VolunteerMatch, which was selected by Time Magazine as one of the year’s Top 10 Sites in its 2007 annual survey of news, business and cultural touchstones.
VolunteerMatch can match you up with local opportunities, but it is especially good, if you are looking for virtual opportunities, i.e. services that you can perform via the internet. One of my first volunteer activities was to design a web site for an organization in Phoenix, AZ, which is 2400 miles from where I live.