April 25, 2022 | British Columbia
Acts of selflessness don’t have to be grand gestures, or involve donating sums of money. In fact, one of the greatest feelings of gratification comes from donating one’s time to the community. Volunteering is a meaningful way to contribute to making the lives of others just a little better.
It could be done by donating your time to helping out in a soup kitchen, or perhaps helping community organizations keep areas litter-free. Regardless of where you choose to dedicate your resources, there is no doubt that being a volunteer benefits everyone.
Beyond helping your community and the good feeling that comes with acts of selflessness, are there other benefits that come with volunteering? Yes, here are five!
Using your hobbies
Whether it is photography, painting, or tinkering with electronics, we all have something that we’re good at that we relegate to our spare time. Why not contribute your knowledge and teach others what you know? Many communities have organizations and community programs that seek out volunteer instructors to teach kids and adults alike.
These programs are great initiatives to provide members of the community with alternative activities, learn crafts, and become inspired. It’s also a great way to share your passions and contribute to the enrichment of others.
Volunteering is a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. Many organizations are willing to train people to help out in certain areas, and volunteering could be a great way to open up your skillset. Whether it’s working with the public, learning about gardening, or even working in a planning role, volunteer positions can help you develop your knowledge.
Maybe there’s something you’ve been wanting to try for a while. Every city has a diverse array of non-profits. Inquiring about areas they might need help in could help you develop life-long passions. A long-term commitment could even help you become an expert!
Advancing your career
For those just starting their career journey this might be the most important benefit of becoming a volunteer. While many non-profits are happy to train people for open roles, they also seek out people with particular skillsets to help them out.
Whether you’ve trained in marketing, as a chef, or even as a clothing designer, there will likely be opportunities in your community to help you apply your skills, make valuable contributions, and add some extra experience to your resume.
Employers value workers who contribute. It can show them that you’re not only willing to gain experience, but that you have passion as well.
Meeting people in your community
Do you know your neighbour? Volunteering is a great way to get out and meet the people in your community!
An often overlooked benefit of volunteering is the social impact it can have on the place you live. It’s an opportunity to meet people and bond over shared values and common interests. It can even help you build your interpersonal skills.
Think of the non-profits in your community. Boys and Girls clubs, community gardens, and even civic initiatives have volunteer programs. Contributing within these spaces can help grow your sense of pride within your neighbourhood and develop a social network with those around you—especially if you are new to the area!
Boost your self-esteem
Volunteering is a fun and meaningful way to break up your routine. It’s is a great way to relieve the stress of a busy career, and keep your mind and body healthy. This can be especially true if work keeps you confined inside an office building. Being a volunteer can be a great way to commit to being outdoors, or it can at least get you out of the house.
When it comes to volunteering, the sky really is the limit. If you like animals, try contacting your local animal shelter to see if they have any positions for dog walkers. If you would like to work with children, there may be options with your local Boys and Girls Clubs.
Volunteering is a fulfilling activity that can help you get your mind off the everyday stress, and knowing you’ve contributed to improving your community is its own reward.
Use your passion
With all the ways in which we can make our communities a better place, few are as rewarding as becoming a volunteer. Not only does it give you the satisfaction of knowing that your actions are helping to enrich the lives of others, it also allows you to have a direct impact on the work being done.
You can contribute numerous ways. It’s important to find something that you feel passionate about. Opportunities can often be found through a local community centre. If there is a specific organization you would like to work with, you can always try contacting them directly.