There are a lot of things you can do with your free time but few offer the rewards you will get when you volunteer for a local political campaign.
Campaigns are high energy, goal oriented entrepreneurial endeavors that condense a lot of emotion and work into a very specific time line.
Some of the benefits of volunteering for a campaign:
Networking: People who work on campaigns are motivated and they care about their community. Many of them are influential and server local boards, run businesses and are the who's-who of your community. These a great people to know and better yet these are great people let get to know you.
Learn New Skills: Many volunteers take on projects that need to be done that they have no experience in. They learn quickly and get things done. I have seen people learn how to create a website, learn excel, learn graphic design and learn how to lead a team. Go volunteer, I guarantee you will learn something valuable.
Learn More About Issues: It is hard to be involved in a campaign without getting bombarded with campaign messages. The smart volunteers research what they hear and often know the issues as good as the candidates.
Enhance Your Resume: If you are a young person and you need to beef up your resume, working on a campaign will do just that. Be sure to pick a campaign you care about. If you are in an area that has a political leaning, and your are volunteering to beef up your resume be sure to pick a campaign that will be looked upon fondly and not the long shot campaign that is sure to get less than 5% of the vote.
When you volunteer for a campaign you meet people from all walks of life who care about the community. The people you meet will range from very important people in business and government to a local grandmother who has time on her hands who want to make a difference. If you are young adult or young professional the connection you make when you volunteer in politics will invaluable.
If you need help finding a campaign that needs help you should reach out to the local political party. They will be able to connect you with someone that needs your help.
Good luck volunteering. I hope you get as much from it as the candidate that you help.