5 Benefits of Volunteerism
Volunteering is one of my favorite hobbies. During my four years of high school, I accumulated over 1,400 hours of community service. How did I do it? Well, for me, volunteering was never a chore. It was something I loved doing on a weekly basis and something I still love doing today. Giving back to one’s community is a truly transformative experience for everyone involved, and I hope everyone can find the time in their busy schedules to volunteer at least once a month. You just might be surprised by the benefits!
Not convinced? Read on to find out some of the many benefits of volunteerism!
Method of Self-Empowerment
Volunteering allows you to take control of your life by deciding to positively influence the lives of others. Simply knowing that you have the power to make a positive impact can encourage you to use your energy for good, instead of wasting it on less meaningful activities. Volunteering will give you a sense of accomplishment because you can see firsthand the benefits that lending a small amount of your time can produce.
Positively Impact the Lives of Others
Of course, one of the main benefits of volunteering is helping those in your community or even on a broader scale. If you just take a few minutes to look around, you can easily spot people who less fortunate than yourself. Whether it’s volunteering at a homeless shelter or advocating for a certain group of underrepresented people, such as people with disabilities, our youth, and people who live in underprivileged areas, there is a multitude of opportunities to volunteer in your community. Just giving one hour a week to help those in need can create a huge ripple effect in our society.
Make Lasting Connections
I have met so many amazing friends and mentors through the organizations with which I volunteer. Volunteering also allows people to network and make important and lasting career connections. While volunteering is usually thought of as a selfless act, there are personal gains one can make for helping those in need.
Learn New Skills
Volunteering also allows one to learn new skills! You may have to learn how to cook a meal, organize volunteers, build a house, or plant a tree. Learning new skills and gaining “work” experience is helpful for applying to jobs or bolstering your resume. In fact, volunteers are more likely to be hired over non-volunteers, showing that volunteerism and job competitiveness might be correlated.
Improve Your Health
Volunteering has many mental and physical health benefits, as well. It can help decrease one’s risk of depression, and it helps people stay mentally and physically active. Volunteering also reduces stress levels, and helping others releases dopamine in the brain, which is one of the “feel good” hormones.