Quote: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
Love Yourself Enough to Volunteer
Someone may ask the question, “How can volunteering be a way to express love for myself?” It is proven that volunteering will not only benefit others but can also benefit the person who is doing the volunteering. “The results show that giving your time to others can make you feel more ‘time affluent’ and less time-constrained than wasting your time, spending it on yourself, or even getting a windfall of free time.”
Everyone has different gifts from God and we are to use those gifts to serve others. It is always more blessed to give than receive. We should give our time and do volunteer work as well as give money, food, and clothes to the poor. Make a difference in someone’s life and I guarantee you that the experience will uplift you.
Here are five benefits of volunteering:
1. Volunteering time makes you feel like you have more time. Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner wrote in the Harvard Business Review that her research found those who volunteer their time feel like they have more of it. This is similar to other research showing that people who donate to charity feel wealthier.
3. Volunteering your body helps you have a healthier body. A Corporation for National & Community Service report noted: “Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health… those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”
4. Volunteering your experience helps build your experience. We consistently see this with highly skilled professionals like investment bankers and business consultants. Also, volunteering in a new industry will give you knowledge to help you switch fields. And if you want to move from the corporate world to the nonprofit sector, volunteering first can help prove your commitment.
5. Volunteering your love makes you feel more love. Admittedly, love is a hard thing to measure. But when researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes you smile — all factors that increase the feeling of love.
6. It can sometimes lead to a paying job, either at the nonprofit or elsewhere. That’s because you’ll likely acquire new skills, make new contacts and demonstrate your value to the group you’re assisting. “Volunteering is the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience for both the individual volunteering and the organization,” Alboher says.
Need more proof that volunteering is good for you?
Here are some other interesting stats about the benefits of volunteering:
- More than 68% of those who volunteered in the past year report that volunteering made them feel physically healthier.
- 29% of volunteers who suffer from a chronic condition say that volunteering has helped them manage their chronic illness.
- 89% of volunteers agree that volunteering improved their sense of well-being.
- 73% of volunteers feel that volunteering lowered their stress levels.
- 92% of volunteers agree that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life.
- More than three-quarters of volunteers who participate in service activities through work report that they feel better about their employer because of the employer’s involvement in their volunteer activities.
Tips on How to Volunteer:
- Research the causes or issues important to you.
Look for a group that works with issues about which you feel strongly. You might already be giving money to one of these organizations, and that might be a good place to begin your volunteer experience.
- Consider the skills that you can offer.
If you enjoy outdoor work, have a knack for teaching, or just enjoy interacting with people, you may want to look for volunteer work that would incorporate these aspects of your personality.
- Would you like to learn something new?
Perhaps you would like to learn a new skill or gain exposure to a new situation. Consider seeking a volunteer opportunity where you'll learn something new. For example, volunteering to work on the newsletter for the local animal shelter will improve your writing and editing abilities - skills that may help you in your career.
- Combine your goals.
Look for volunteer opportunities that will also help you achieve your other goals for your life. For example, if you want to lose a few extra pounds, pick an active volunteer opportunity, such as cleaning a park or working with kids. Or, if you've been meaning to take a cooking class, try volunteering at a food bank that teaches cooking skills.
- Don't over-commit your schedule.
Make sure the volunteer hours you want to give fit into your hectic life, so that you don't frustrate your family, exhaust yourself, shortchange the organization you're trying to help or neglect your job. Do you want a long-term assignment or something temporary? If you are unsure about your availability, or want to see how the work suits you before making an extensive commitment, see whether the organization will start you out on a limited number of hours until you get the feel of things. Better to start out slowly than to commit yourself to a schedule you can't or don't want to fulfill.
- Nonprofits may have questions, too.
While most nonprofits are eager to find volunteer help, they must be careful when accepting the services, you offer. If you contact an organization with an offer to volunteer your time, you may be asked to come in for an interview, fill out a volunteer application, or describe your qualifications and your background just as you would at an interview for a paying job. It is in the organization's interest and more beneficial to the people it serves to make certain you have the skills needed, that you are truly committed to doing the work, and that your interests match those of the nonprofit.
- Consider volunteering as a family.
Think about looking for a volunteer opportunity suitable for parents and children to do together, or for a husband and wife to take on as a team. When a family volunteers to work together at a nonprofit organization, the experience can bring them closer together, teach young children the value of giving their time and effort, introduce everyone in the family to skills and experiences never encountered, and give the entire family a shared experience as a wonderful family memory.
- Virtual volunteering?
Yes, there is such a thing! If you have computer access and the necessary skills, some organizations now offer the opportunity to do volunteer work over the computer. This might take the form of giving free legal advice, typing a college term paper for a person with a disability, or simply keeping in contact with a shut-in who has e-mail. This sort of volunteering might be well suited to you if you have limited time, no transportation, or a physical disability that precludes you from getting about freely. Virtual volunteering can also be a way for you to give time if you simply enjoy computers and want to employ your computer skills in your volunteer work.
Many community groups are looking for volunteers, and some may not have occurred to you. Most of us know that hospitals, libraries, and churches use volunteers for a great deal of their work, but there are other volunteer opportunities that may not have crossed your mind. One such organization, is Pink 4 Ever, we are always looking for good volunteers to help with our mission.
So, it is settled, loving yourself enough to do, is not always about doing for yourself but also about doing for others. Volunteering can make feel fulfilled, needed and special. So please take the time to find great causes or organizations to give of your time and talents to. And please, consider giving your time to us, Pink 4 Ever!
Give voice to your heart through your giving and volunteering!