Why get involved?
Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it, you should find some way to give back to the community. I know, we all live busy lives and it can be hard to find the time to volunteer. But giving back doesn’t have to just be about giving of your time. We are big believers that the whole community benefits when everyone finds some way to give of their time, talents and treasures in service of their fellow man. You, your family, and your community all benefit when you find a way to give back. When you find the right fit, volunteering can help you make new friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and help you develop valuable career skills. Volunteering is just plain good for you.
Volunteering connects you to the community and to others
Volunteering allows you to connect with the community and make it a better place to live. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people in the community, the environment, and organizations in need. But the benefits of volunteering go both ways. Volunteering can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you support. Giving of your time helps you make new friends, expand your social network, and helps you build bonds within your community.
Volunteering is healthy for your mind, body and soul
Volunteering can provide a great boost to personal satisfaction and self-confidence. Knowing that you are doing good for the community and others offers a great sense of accomplishment. For those who might not have a broad social network, volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn helps reduce stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Volunteering is good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Let’s face it, volunteering is just plain good for the soul.
Volunteering can help you develop career skills
Volunteering can help you gain valuable skills in a career field of interest to you. If you think you might be interested in working with an elderly population, you can find volunteer opportunities with organizations like the Council on Aging. The same if you are interested in environmental causes, by volunteering for those causes, you might make valuable contacts with people in that field who can help you advance or start your career. You can also gain valuable skills used in the workplace like teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might be more willing to take on new challenges at work when you have a chance to try out new skills you’ve developed as a volunteer.
Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a great escape from your normal routine. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.do.
Finding the right opportunity
With some many causes out there, how you pick the right one? Ask family, friends or coworkers what causes they support, everyone loves to talk about their interests. Whatever organization or cause you decide to get involved with, do you homework. Not every organization spends donors money wisely or has the best interest of their constituents in mind. A good recent example is the many “veterans” organizations that were only spending like 25% of their proceeds on actual services to veterans.
Where can you find volunteer opportunities?
Community theaters, museums, and monuments
Libraries or senior centers
Service organizations such as Lions Clubs or Rotary Clubs
Local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or wildlife centers
Youth organizations, sports teams, and after-school programs
Historical restorations, national parks, and conservation organizations
Places of worship such as churches or synagogues
Online databases linked to organizations like MartinVolunteers