Volunteering opens doors to unforeseen possibilities. It benefits the organization you volunteer with; it benefits the individual volunteer and also benefits society at large. People are especially time-poor these days and wonder how to volunteer more.
Why would you volunteer?
Many non-profit organizations could not function if it wasn’t for the time put in by their band of volunteers. The greatest needs in society seem to be addressed by these organizations that exist simply to help a particular group or section of society. They often receive little in the way of funding and rely almost solely on donations and volunteers to continue their work.
There are many well-documented benefits to the person who volunteers as well. When you are helping someone else, it is almost impossible to think about your own problems. Research has shown that volunteering helps people who suffer from depression and other forms of mental illness. Helping out gives you a buzz, a feeling of deep satisfaction that you are able to help another human being. Volunteering makes you feel good.
Everyone has skills and knowledge that can be shared with others by volunteering. Organizations need all types of skills and you can be certain of finding a group where you can use your skills and knowledge to feel that you are making a difference. Volunteers give back to the society in which they live and it is this giving and sharing that makes for a cohesive community. Volunteers also find that they gain new knowledge and skills while gaining a better understanding of the challenges that affect others.
How can you volunteer more?
Like most things in life during these hectic and fast-paced times, you need to allocate the time to volunteer. Waiting for the time to appear is never going to work. Find time in your schedule when you can arrange a few hours to work with an organization that needs your talents.
Look for volunteering opportunities close to home so that you need less travel time to get there and home again. Maybe you can fit in a few hours before or after work, while you are already out.
Check out opportunities to volunteer online, using your computer. There are now online groups that link volunteers with those who need assistance. Many organizations have websites that explain their purpose and work, so this is a simple way of finding a good match for your volunteering efforts.
Volunteering doesn’t need to be time-consuming; even a couple of hours of your time will be appreciated. Look for opportunities that only require you for short periods of time, even if you help out a few times a week for a couple of hours.
Find volunteering opportunities in areas that you are passionate about or that allow you to do things you love. You will be more likely to stick with your volunteering if you enjoy what you are doing.
How do you find places to volunteer?
Many organizations advertize in local newspapers and this is a great way to find volunteering opportunities close to where you live. Some have retail outlets for their donated goods, so you might make enquiries there as well.
Newspaper reports are another way of using the media to find volunteering opportunities. You might read a report about a certain group that has had large demands on its funds and resources, for example, and see a chance to help out.
Think of areas that you are interested in as a way of finding a way to volunteer more. You might love animals, for instance, so you could contact your local animal shelter and offer to give some time for administrative assistance or to walk the dogs.
Wherever you volunteer your time, you will find that your time is greatly appreciated and you will feel satisfied and happy when you volunteer more.
So, do you volunteer, and if so, how did you find that opportunity? Also, what kind of rewards have you experienced?