Chances are, if you aren’t a volunteer, someone you know is.
There are thousands of legitimate organizations that need volunteers, and if you aren’t currently participating, it may be something to consider.
According to American research, approximately 1 in every 4 people volunteer. That’s 25% of the American population, and organizations are constantly taking volunteers.
Here are all the benefits of volunteering and why you should make it a regular part of your days!
Why You Should Volunteer
1. Resume builder
If you’re in a position where you’re between jobs, but you continue to volunteer in the meantime, employers are more likely to hire you than a person who does not volunteer.
Related: 5 Tips For Getting Your Dream Job
Why? Because as a volunteer, you’re offering your time in a selfless manner, assisting with the greater good.
From an employer’s perspective, you are portrayed as a person who is not only considerate of others, but also someone who is motivated and self-driven.
2. Health benefits
The mental and emotional health benefits of volunteering are pretty obvious: you feel great about helping out a good cause, and you’re in a healthier state of mind after volunteering.
The physical health benefits are also very powerful. As a person willing to go out of your way to help others with nothing in return, you are giving yourself an overall sense of pride and accomplishment, which is directly linked to your body chemistry.
If you’re in a mental state of stress and frustration, your body notices that too. Keep your mind in a healthy place, and your body will follow.
Related: 10 Ways You Can Reduce Stress
3. Spreading the love through generations
As a young adult volunteer, you’re more likely to grow up and continue to volunteer as an adult.
What does that mean for adults? It can mean that if you’re currently a volunteer, and you have children, and they volunteer, you’re setting your children up for a lifetime of selfless regard for their fellow man, and they will likely pass that onto their kids.
If you don’t currently volunteer, let it start with you!
4. Respect for others
As a volunteer, you respect your fellow volunteers. You’re all in it together, to be there for each other and the organization for which you work. You have a camaraderie that is difficult to replicate at a paid job.
If you coordinate volunteers, your outlook changes entirely. As the coordinator, it is your mission to find good helpers, which makes you appreciate your fellow volunteers even more, and it also makes you more mindful of how you spend your own time.
5. Meeting new people
Obviously, as a volunteer, you’ll have the chance to go out into the community and meet like-minded folks who are willing to provide manpower to their favorite organization.
What you may not have considered, however, is that through volunteer work, you have a great opportunity to meet and work in close proximity with people whom you may not have otherwise encountered.
It can be an amazing way to network, and also gives you a great chance to mingle with the public.
6. Gaining expertise
Depending on what type of volunteer work you’re doing, you are still in a position to learn new things, such as how an organization operates.
If working in an office setting and assisting with behind-the-scenes clerical work, for example, you’ll have the chance to gain knowledge of software, see how the office flows, and gain knowledge that will build your resume.
If working on the front lines, you’ll gain customer service knowledge in working with the public.
If you’re volunteering for a local animal shelter or rescue group, your knowledge of animal care will skyrocket.
Whatever the situation, you’re gaining some great expertise to help move you through life.
Where Do I Start?
If you’re not sure where to start, definitely start local. Look at your local animal shelters, women’s shelters, and food banks.
If you’re looking to gain experience on the state or national level, check out the websites of organizations you are interested in. They almost always have a portion of their site specifically tailored toward volunteers looking to help.
Need some ideas? Just think of those in need: homeless, animals, battered women, children who need read to, the elderly shut-ins or nursing home-bound, medical organizations, veterans, blood banks, children in need of a positive role model, churches, schools…the list goes on and on.
I recommend checking out www.nationalservice.gov for volunteering information, and a link to assist in searching for local volunteer positions. You can also go to www.serve.gov for help in registering your talents, so organizations can reach out to you in their time of need.
There are many benefits of volunteering. No matter what kind of volunteer work you’re looking to do, consider that giving of your time for nothing in return is a highly respected action which is regarded by many employers. If you’re only volunteering for a resume builder, that is fine, but expect to be pleasantly surprised with the warm fuzzies you will find you’ll have after a long day of helping others. Now, go rock those warm fuzzies!
Audra Dittlinger is a contributor for Inspiyr.com, as well as a full-time working mom living in rural Indiana. She is an insurance professional with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She writes to create, inspire, and empower.