Sometimes I think the world would implode without the millions of volunteers out there working their tails off for the good of mankind. What would happen without volunteers? Who would run the food banks, the thrift shops, the humanitarian efforts, the animal shelters, the fundraisers, the blood banks, and the list goes on and on. Contrary to popular thought, volunteers make the world go ‘round, not money.
How do you choose a volunteer organization or cause to join? Start searching online. Bountiful volunteer opportunities in your community will pop up at your fingertips. Choose a personally meaningful cause to join. Perhaps a family member suffers or has died from a disease you can support finding a cure for. Or you feel for animals and want to help them thrive.
You don’t have to stick to joining opportunities within your community. There are province-wide, country-wide, and worldwide volunteer opportunities. If you have the chance to travel and volunteer, you’re likely to make diverse friends for life from your shared experience.
In addition to making a positive impact, you’ll learn about other cultures. You’ll also gain respect for people whose views and beliefs may differ from your own. When you volunteer in another community, you become a part of a new community, make new friends, share in their food and culture, all while developing relationship, communication, organizational, and team work skills.
Contributing your time and talents has infinite benefits. First, you gain new skills and career prospects, and improve a variety of skills you already have. You’ll also experience real life situations and meet a group of like-minded people that share your passions. There are openings available to fit any schedule, whether you have a few hours a month or weeks.
Second, in a world where it seems like everything is going to pieces, you get to make a difference in another human being’s or animal’s existence. There are many people and animals who will be worse off without your help.
Potential employers value these skills when they see them on your resume. But volunteering does a lot more than look impressive on paper. It gives you a sense of connection to the world around you. It gives you a sense of responsibility and purpose by working towards something bigger than merely your own wants and needs. Volunteering creates so much value. When you work without expectation of monetary gain, you also become a positive role model.
No matter what type of personality or skill set you currently have, there is a volunteer opportunity to suit you. You are needed.
And if you don’t feel comfortable around crowds, there are endless ways to give of yourself financially online. You can also promote your chosen organization on social media. All great business people of the past have urged everyone to contribute ten percent of their income to helping others. More than just giving back, it creates a sense of abundance that can’t be bought. Additionally, consider supporting corporations and companies that give back to communities. Backing charitable companies sends a strong moral message to all businesses.
While volunteering is hard work, you may also find yourself having the time of your life. You’ll gain a fresh perspective on life, witness how happy people can be living with very few possessions, and how much humanity has in common. Offering your time to give others a leg up in the world generates a sense well-being and reminds us not to sweat the small stuff.
Why volunteer? Why wouldn’t you?