Why You Should Lend a Helping Hand
For some people, the word volunteering conjures up visions of a lot of grunt work for no pay and no glory, well… there may be some truth to that, but by now you should realize the glory is on the inside. In most cases you end up helping yourself more than the people for whom you are volunteering. You may think you can’t afford to give up your precious downtime on “one more free project,” but honestly, you can’t afford not to.
Volunteering is a time-honored tradition of helping out someone in need, out of the goodness of your heart (or in some cases when you have a court-appointed quota to fulfill), but people don’t do enough of it anymore, and there is more need than ever. Some people don’t realize the benefit to one’s self and why we all should really make the time.
I’ve always loved animals, as do my kids, so we found a great opportunity right in our own backyard to be around some amazing animals–caring for them, as well as educating the public about them. It’s definitely a win-win. I call my rewarding time at FurEver Wild “animal therapy” because I know no matter how bad a day I’ve had, I can go and be around these amazing animals and the rest of the world falls away for a few hours. What started four years ago as a twice a month commitment has blossomed in to a twice a week privilege for me!
Here are some things to think about that might convince you it’s worth your while:
- It takes too much time.
You can do a one-and-done event, a few hours a week, or every day of the week. It really just depends on your commitment level and the charity.
- Someone else will do it.
And if everyone thought that… nothing would ever get done. And someone in need goes without help.
- Nobody cares that I helped someone
Not true! College admissions look at volunteer experience, as can potential employers. It could be that little extra edge that advances someone’s opinion of you.
- Find something you are passionate about and find a volunteer opportunity around that.
- Get your kids, family, and friends involved. Many hands make light work!
- Structure the time so that you make time in your schedule. Make it the same day every month, week, etc.
- Be realistic about your commitment. Don’t promise your time and then not showing up. They are counting on you to be there.
- It’s a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends.
- It’s an escape from your normal schedule where you can feel good about doing something good.
- You are helping someone.
A great resource for finding a volunteer opportunity that is a good match for you and your talents, and time, is here: www.VolunteerMatch.org Check it out!
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