Savvy Earth Savers
Why volunteer?

Why volunteer?

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.

Volunteering connects you to others

Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

Make new friends and contacts

One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. It strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.

Increase your social and relationship skills

While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.

Benefit 2: Volunteering is good for your mind and body

Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.

Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. 

Volunteering combats depression. 

Volunteering makes you happy. 

Volunteering increases self-confidence. 

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. 

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. 

Tips for getting started

First, ask yourself if there is something specific you want to do.

For example, do I want…

…to improve the neighborhood where I live

…to meet people who are different than me

…to try something new

…to do something with my spare time

…to see a different way of life and new places

…to have a go at the type of work I might want as a full-time job

…to do more with my interests and hobbies

…to share something I’m good at

The best way to volunteer is to find a match with your personality and interests. Having answers to these questions will help you narrow down your search.

How to find the right volunteer opportunity

There are numerous volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that your commitment matches the organization’s needs. Ask yourself the following:

Would you like to work with adults, children, animals, or remotely from home?

Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?

Are you better behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?

How much time are you willing to commit?

What skills can you bring to a volunteer job?

What causes are important to you?

Where to find volunteer opportunities

Community theaters, museums, and monuments

Libraries or senior centers

Service organizations such as Lions Clubs or Rotary Clubs

Local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or wildlife centers

Youth organizations, sports teams, and after-school programs

Historical restorations, national parks, and conservation organizations

Research shows that just two to three hours per week, or about 100 hours a year, can confer the most benefits—to both you and your chosen cause. The important thing is to volunteer only the amount of time that feels comfortable to you. Volunteering should feel like a fun and rewarding hobby, not another chore on your to-do list.

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2020-05-22 by Cruzanne Macalligan
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