Volunteering takes so little effort in relation to the good that it offers those who benefit. Take a moment and look back on activities that you have been a part of and think how many people were actually volunteers. There are many benefits to volunteering but here are my top five picks.
New People– In volunteering for many community activities, you are bound to meet and greet new people. It doesn’t matter how long you lived there, there is always a new face, a new life or a new family. Don’t close the doors on being able to meet new people every day.
New Opportunities– Each new task in volunteering brings forth a multitude of opportunities to those who participate. Perhaps it was just an acknowledgement of your participation or it could even lead the way to a new job offer. Each task is experience under your belt and a feather in your cap, not for what you offered but for what you have done. It is not an ego boost but rather a heartfelt acceptance.
Appreciation– While you never look down on those you wish to bend over and help, the realization that not everyone is as blessed as you are in every way is a humble experience that not everyone gets to experience. Accept the gift and try to help as many as you can with a smiling face and an understanding heart.
Respect– Each time you volunteer, you gain one more person’s respect. Each hand you shake or tray you deliver, one more person is smiling and one more person may be eating. Respect isn’t just given to you by those you help; it is also given to those whom you have chosen to help. Never go into volunteering with a heavy or expectant heart, it shows in everything you do each day.
Admiration– some may find this a strange word when you are bringing a blanket to a cold homeless person but take a moment and understand what you feel as you cover their sleeping body with that warm blanket. Don’t you stop and wonder how they made it this far with so much baggage and so little belongings? That is admiration. It is the mere amazement and acknowledgement that someone has accomplished so much with so little. It doesn’t only belong to those who are worth the most or even to those who have the most it belongs to those who have struggled, fought and yet still overcame and existed another day.
Take your time and think of all the volunteers who you may have overlooked. Visit local community outreach programs, churches, food pantry’s and offer what you can of yourself.