When Compassion Meets Action Lives Change
While donating to causes and organizations you are passionate about is a great way to make a contribution, the reality is many people do not have the extra cash right now. However, lack of funds does not mean lack of opportunities.
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. While volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, the benefits can be even greater for you, as a volunteer.
Giving to others can also enhance your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, depression, anxiety by occupying your brain in a different way and providing a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people and organizations in need. It strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, connecting you with people who share common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and meaningful activities.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Volunteering can increase self-confidence because when you are doing good for others in the community it creates a natural sense of accomplishment. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
Volunteering can advance your career, and teach you valuable job skills. If you are considering changing your career path, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Volunteering can also give you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, project planning, task management, and organization. Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are not beneficial. Volunteering can also help you build upon the skills you already have and use them to benefit your community.
You will have a better and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you take some time to identify your goals and interests. Think about why you want to volunteer. What would you enjoy doing? The opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are most likely to be fun and fulfilling.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing.
Here are a few links to get you started, but be sure to reach out and contact organizations that interest you. The sky is the limit.
VolunteerMatch — Find opportunities that match your volunteer interests, from location to type of work.
Idealist — Find volunteer opportunities in your local area or internationally.
AmeriCorps — National and Community Service — Federal organization offering volunteer positions across the U.S.
Volunteer.gov — Directory of volunteer opportunities.
Peace Corps — Offers volunteer opportunities overseas and includes a 50 Plus division\
Featured image by Sarah Sweeney