Surprising Benefits Of Volunteering

Why volunteer? The benefits of volunteering can last a lifetime—not only for those who you are helping, but for you as well.

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If you are on the fence about diving into lớn a new volunteer experience or have doubts about whether or not volunteering is right for you, you might find yourself surprised at just how much you can gain from taking the plunge.

Let’s learn more about the many benefits of volunteering & how lớn start getting involved!

Why Volunteer?

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What is Volunteering?

Volunteering means giving your time và abilities to lớn aid others (usually a nonprofit organization) without the want of financial compensation. Put simply, volunteering is a service khổng lồ your community.

Many nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers lớn accomplish day-to-day objectives và khổng lồ reach long-term goals.Miles4Migrants, for instance, relied solely on volunteer hours for their first few years of operation. Most nonprofits would not be able khổng lồ vị the important work they bởi without the power of volunteer work.

Nothing gets done by one person alone, which means we have sầu lớn band together lớn make thechanges we want lớn see in the world. Volunteerism has indeed been the fuel to the fires of change both on international & local fronts. Volunteering your time, skills, and resources is one of the most powerful ways lớn make a difference, to help others, and as it turns out, to lớn enhance your wellbeing.



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7 Benefits of Volunteering

While you won’t get paid for your community service, volunteering comes with a lot of other benefits khổng lồ boot. Donating your time, energy, and possibly resources can be just as rewarding for you as for those you are helping. Here are some ways volunteering can affect you positively:

1. Meet New People & Build Community

Everyone loves new friends!

Being a part of a team with a common goal will help you form bonds with strangers that can be life-changing. Volunteering inherently means helping people, và that means you’ll be creating meaningful relationships with others and increasing your social interactions.

Volunteering provides a chất lượng opportunity: it connects people with very specific shared values. And the values may not be what you think. In addition to lớn likely having shared concerns for children,sustainable living, healthy eating, or whatever project you’re working on, volunteers are also people who also mô tả things lượt thích a willingness to lớn step outside their comfort zone, an openness lớn spending time on a community effort, a proclivity for engaging in team-oriented activities, & a desire lớn contribute lớn the well-being of others.

You’re sure to meet people & make new friends that tóm tắt comtháng interests, values, và outlooks. Building a community in which you are all working together towards common future goals will nurture your sense of belonging and purpose & expvà your tư vấn system. This social benefit of volunteering grows inkhổng lồ a bunch of other benefits that we’ll continue lớn explore in this list!

2. Gain Knowledge & Understanding of Other Ways of Life

Volunteering might take you to lớn a new part of your community you have never been to before. Volunteer programs can give sầu you the opportunity khổng lồ bring people inkhổng lồ your social network you otherwise wouldn’t get lớn meet and learn from those who come from different walks of life. This experience can expand your understanding of others who are different from you.

Learning about cultures and ways of life that are different from one of your upbringing will increase your social flexibility & expand your world-view. It will also raise awareness of the issues that other people giảm giá khuyến mãi with & will increase important social skills lượt thích empathy & teamwork.

3. Gain a Sense of Purpose & Become Happier

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What an amazing reason to vì something! Who doesn’t want to lớn become happier?! Volunteeringhas been shownto give you a sense of accomplishment và lớn increase feelings of happiness.

How you may ask?

Throughout your life you’ve developed social and professional skills that promote your personal achievement. Using those skills for a wider, communal impact can be even more fulfilling. Volunteering will enrich your life & give sầu you a broader purpose và can give you a boost of motivation.

Researchers also posit that it’s the social connections you make while volunteering (as we’ve mentioned) that help increase your feelings of happiness.

Feeling like you are a purposeful role of your community will make you feel…domain authority da dum…HAPPY! Volunteering is indeed aknown mechanismkhổng lồ help fight all sorts of mental issues like depression, anxiety, stress, và anger.

Where bởi vì we sign up?!

4. Boost Your Self-Esteem

That’s right! Spending time as a volunteer hasbeen shownkhổng lồ improve sầu your self-esteem!

The more opportunities you take khổng lồ learn new skills & gain knowledge, the more fully you will develop as a person. And what safer space to develop those skills than in a context of service?

Stepping out of your comfort zone và building new skills is the best way to develop your self-esteem. Volunteering will increase your sense of pride và thus, your self-confidence! When you challenge yourself through volunteering & receive sầu appreciation from others, it can make you feel better emotionally và mentally.

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Plus, who has time to think negative thoughts about yourself when you’re out saving the world?!

5. Advance Your Career by Improving Job Prospects

Gear up! This one’s a big one!

Volunteering will offer you skills that can be used throughout your career development. If you are wanting lớn change to a new career, especially a new environmental orsocial impact job, volunteering in that new field can help you develop the skills & knowledge you will need.

When you have sầu a volunteering experience khổng lồ add to lớn your resume, you st& out over job candidates who don’t take the time to give sầu baông xã khổng lồ society. Volunteering highlights your character, passion, & determination!

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Through your volunteer experiences, you have sầu a chance khổng lồ show that you’re interested in things bigger than yourself, và you are willing to take action khổng lồ make the changes you want in the world—& that will always help you shine through the competition.

Plus, volunteering can also give sầu you a better understanding of the issues you are working with and discover where there are gaps in the field. This knowledge can prepare you to enter a new field of work or, for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, volunteering may lead lớn developing your next business idea or inspire you tostart a nonprofityourself!

6. Accrue the Health Benefits of Volunteering

It’s true! There are manyphysical benefitsthat come from volunteering, và most important is that it can help reduce stress!

Spending meaningful time with others can reduce bức xúc & the health effects it has on our bodies. Reduced căng thẳng translates into lớn several physical health benefits. You’ll sleep better, get sick less often, and even prsự kiện heart disease! In fact, somestudieshave sầu even found lower mortality rates in volunteers vs non-volunteers in older adults.

This makes sense because as we give our attention to lớn others, we take our attention off of our own problems & concerns. It can also put our stresses inkhổng lồ perspective và feel more gratitude in our day-to-day lives.

Volunteer work can also be an outlet for the frustrations you feel about certain issues and will leave you with a sense of agency và empowerment. Worried about climate change? Do something about it!

7. Increase Your Brain Functioning

Every volunteer opportunity has its own mix of tasks, và some of those might require you to lớn learn new skill sets và challenge yourself. This means you’ll be keeping your brain busy and limber!

Volunteeringhas been shownto lớn increase your ability for problem solving, increase your long-term & short-term memory, & reduce your risk of developing age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. So time to lớn get started!


The Good và Bad of Volunteering


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PROS

Meet new people & develop lasting relationships.Increase your happiness và better your mental health.Learn new skills & increase your brain function and self-esteem.Stvà out on job applications & further your career.Decrease your ức chế and accrue the health benefits.Do good in the world và help make a difference.

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CONS

Can be time-consuming.Some tasks can be repetitive sầu depending on the volunteer role.Might take multiple attempts lớn find the right fit for you.

Getting Started on Your Volunteer Journey

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So you have made up your mind to volunteer—what now?

One of the many beauties of volunteering is that there are endless ways that you can get involved và make a difference. The thing is, you won’t know which is right for you until you get out inlớn the community and start!

The key to lớn accruing all the benefits of volunteering is khổng lồ find something you really like in a community that you love. It is time to lớn consider your options carefully so you can find an opportunity that will be realistic for you as well as fulfilling.

How lớn Start Your Research

There are tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations in the United States with volunteering opportunities ranging from health care and mental health, to lớn sports, to politics, to childhood development. Here are some tips to lớn start finding the right volunteer opportunity for you:

Search online for organizations in your interest areas and see if they have sầu a volunteer page on their website. Make sure lớn check out the organization’s FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page và follow-up with any additional questions or concerns before signing up to lớn volunteer. Ask as many questions as you like of a nonprofit before you volunteer with them!Contact your local community centers, nonprofit organizations, senior centers, or libraries to lớn find out if they are in need of volunteers. They usually are!

What lớn Consider: Finding the Opportunity That is Right for You

It’s important to lớn make sure you only volunteer in a capacity that you are comfortable with và that brings you joy. Here are some things to lớn consider as you tìm kiếm for your next volunteer opportunity.

Time

First và foremost, consider how much time you can give sầu. There is no competition in volunteering (or at least, there shouldn’t be!). If you can only give sầu an hour a month—great. That is an additional hour a month your community will benefit from that it otherwise wouldn’t!

When volunteering as a part of a team, you should make sure you can commit the time you are promising. If you are volunteering to vị things like theonline marketing for the nonprofit, that don’t require working directly with others, make sure you are upfront about your skill levels, abilities, và availability. This will ensure you don’t feel stretched too thin, which often results in burnout.

Making reasonable timeframes will help you settle in for the long-term. And being upfront about your time constraints will help you avoid disappointing anyone counting on you và your volunteer efforts.

Physical Limitations

Also, consider your physical capabilities. Do you have constraints that will make certain tasks difficult? Be honest with yourself about what you are comfortable with accomplishing. I have found that most nonprofit organizations are very happy lớn accommodate volunteers who have special requests & needs if you are upfront with them about your limitations.

Your Skillset

Another thing to lớn mull over is what kind of skills you already possess. What skills or experience could be helpful to the nonprofit you are working with? If you’re in kinh doanh, consider helping an organization develop theirnonprofit sale plan. If you know accounting, help them get their books in order. Organizations will LOVE getting this kind of expertise (that they would usually have to pay top dollar for).

Your Interests

Next, think about where your interests lie & what kind of field would you want to lớn explore. Do you like working with animals? Want to learn more aboutfarming and agriculture? Interested in learning tocompost? Do you enjoy playing with children? Spending time with the elderly? Would you want to lớn learnhow to lớn help refugees?

Deciding what kind of organization you would lượt thích lớn work with first will help you bring enthusiasm and excitement to lớn your volunteer experience. It is no good for anyone if you volunteer khổng lồ vì chưng something you flat out don’t lượt thích doing.

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Volunteer Abroad or in Your Own Community

Are you interested in working outside of your trang chính country? Do you have sầu the time & finances to travel? Would you rather stay close to lớn home where you might not have khổng lồ spover money to volunteer?

Consider again what might work best for you. Volunteering abroad tends khổng lồ be expensive and time-consuming, which may or may not be something you are prepared lớn vì chưng. Plus there are many opportunities right in our own communities!

But if you want khổng lồ bởi vì work tosave sầu the oceansfor instance, & you live in the mountains of Coloravày, your local community may not have the right opportunity for you. In that case, you will want to tìm kiếm outside of your hometown.

Make sure that if you are considering volunteering abroad, that you work only with a reputable organization that you can verify necessary information about what khổng lồ expect before you leave sầu home page.

There are some amazing opportunities khổng lồ combine your travel with volunteering. Companies likeHave sầu Fun Do Goodprovide the opportunity lớn vì purposeful travel, arranging for your trip lớn be structured around a service project.

Learn more about how these travel experiences incorporate volunteer projects in our interview with the Founder of Have sầu Fun Do Good, Adam Kunes!


Kind TravelerandDiscover Corpsalso allow you khổng lồ take your impact beyond your hometown. Or join the “give-back-packers” atBambooand take your impact across the world. Or, maybe you prefersaving sea turtleson a visit khổng lồ Costa Rica? The possibilities are endless!

The Power of Giving Back

The reasons people volunteer are many và will vary person to lớn person. What we bởi know is that when you find the right fit, you’ll enrich the lives of others & your life will be made better by the experience!

We all contribute lớn the construction of the world we live sầu in—don’t you want your contribution lớn be one that makes that worldbetter? Working towards equality for everyone will make a better world for all of us!

Whether you are a high school student volunteering at a football game, a girl scout selling cookies, or a senior volunteering at an animal shelter, when your efforts go towards making society better for all of us, we all feel better. It’s a win-win situation.

Good luông xã on your search for the right volunteer experience for you and let us know how your experience goes! Happy volunteering!