“When I was in grade 8, I began volunteering. I started by volunteering with children day camps in the summer and as I got older, I began to work with jr. high students, and eventually high-school students. Volunteering at a young age opened me up to see more of the world around me. It taught me empathy, leadership, initiative, and respect. Volunteering helped shape me into the person I am. I will never regret the time I spent volunteering, in fact sometimes I wish I did more.” – Lauren Galenkamp
Volunteering has many, sometimes unknown, advantages. Some of them include:
1. Volunteering connects you to others. Volunteering helps you to not only see life from other perspectives, but builds empathy for others. When you choose to volunteer with friends or family, it can also help you grow closer to one another. If a family with young children volunteers together, the experience can teach kids valuable lessons about the world. It is also a good way to meet new people.
2. Volunteering is good for your mind and body. It has been shown that when you volunteer, it can help decrease anxiety, stress, anger, and even depression. Human beings gain a lot psychologically from connecting with others. People gain happiness from the act of giving to others and self-confidence because of an increased sense of accomplishment and sense of purpose. It also can help you physically. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate and has shown other benefits especially with older adult volunteers.
3. Volunteering can help your career. It can give you experience in the field you may be interested it. This can provide clarity into the type of job within the field you would be best suited for. It also teaches you valuable skills for different working environments.
4. Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment. Volunteering is something you can do to keep being involved in something you love, even when it is not your profession. For example, if you always enjoyed hanging out with youth or kids in general, there are countless opportunities to get involved. There are day camps, youth programs, and young parent programs. It helps give you hope, motivation, inspiration and creativity that often spills into the other parts of your life.
As you can see, the benefits of volunteering outweigh any negatives or excuses you may have. What are you waiting for? Go out and volunteer and make your community a better place.