BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING…you may not have considered!
Thinking about volunteering? Not sure about how to take the next step? Cautious about ‘jumping in’?Always having good intentions to volunteer in one’s community…..but always procrastinating and never following through?
Think of it another way:
“Volunteering can have surprising benefits to both your mental health and well-being”
The benefits of a few hours a week volunteering can be enormous to you, your family, your neighborhood and even your community and beyond.
My 4 Benefits of Volunteering!
My number 1 benefit of volunteering is ‘CONNECTIONS’. And not the electronic facespace, likedHim or tritter type of connection…REAL connections! Face-to-face connections…people from all walks of life committing to a shared activity together to help a community or charitable organization or even a person/family that are struggling. It strengthens your ties to your neighborhood or community and exposes you to people with similar interests. You start to be the glue that keeps the community together and alive and kicking.
Volunteering helps those that are more reserved to come forward and integrate more. It gives people the opportunity to learn skills from each other and opens their eyes to broader, more diverse living.
My number 2 benefit of volunteering is how good it is for your ‘MIND and BODY’. Volunteering can give you a huge boost in self-confidence and self-belief. It can provide a natural sense of accomplishment when you do good for people and your community, which can turn into pride, happiness and fulfillment. When you can feel that, you then know how to duplicate that feeling in your busy hectic life to give you a more positive view on your goal.
It has even been said that volunteering is a great way of combating depression...YES…depression! Not to go down this road to much, but a key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering, keeps you in regular contact with others that can also become your very own support network. Depending on where and how you wish to volunteer, volunteering with animals is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and can vastly improve your mood.
Keeping fit is a must these days, and with our unhealthy lifestyle choices, rising costs of gym membership and fresh fruit and vegetables it can be tough. How about volunteering a few hours as a gardener? Keeping flowerbeds clear of weeds, planting fresh new flowers etc... Think of the amount of exercise you will get for FREE! Whilst enjoying the fresh air and getting copious amounts of vitamin D from the sun. It’s a threefer!
My number 3 benefit to volunteering is quite simple for those that are looking for it…’CAREER ADVANCEMENT’. As a volunteer, you can learn and hone new skills by either self-teachings or by volunteering alongside people that already possess those skills. You can start to manage projects, learn how to work as a team and how to organize your work. All of these new skills and the self confidence that you will achieve, can be replicated at your place of employment and give you an edge on that interview or promotion.
Especially if you are a high school student, volunteering in a field that you think you would like to enter as a career is a fantastic way to a: ensure that you will be fulfilled in your career before making the leap to study it at college and b: it can give you a ‘foot in the door’ and a boost to you resume when looking to enter your chosen field.
My number 4 benefit to volunteering is probably the most important, because without it, you will not get any of the other wonderful benefits.
Volunteering brings ‘FUN AND FULLFILLMENT’ to your life. Yes it does!
Volunteering is a way to not only explore your passions and interests, but to find new and exciting passions and interests. It is a way to unwind, and escape for a few hours, a way to grow as a person and family, it’s an experience to do something different, something challenging, something enjoyable, something that gives you contentment…because in a few hours, you will be back on that road, driving that commute, working behind that desk, answering that telephone, back to the old routine…well…until the next volunteering session begins!
Here at the Osceola County Historical Society, we are in need of volunteers all the time to donate some hours to our pioneer village, our historical museum and welcome center, our summer camp and educational programs, our marketing programs, and of course our grounds maintenance programs (which comes with free vitamin D). If you would like to become a volunteer with us, please contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and placement.
Written by Scott B. Dickie