6 Benefits of Volunteering

December 18, 2013

In this season of giving, leaders should lead by example, finding time to volunteer in their communities. Here’s why.

This is the time of year when many people get involved in their communities by volunteering. Being in leadership roles, it is important we lead by example in our places of employment and our communities by volunteering.   

With busy lives it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are huge to you and your community. In the United States, an estimated 83.9 million adults volunteer and their contributions are worth an estimated $239 billion to those they help.

I volunteer in my community and know the benefits firsthand. As a matter of fact, there are benefits to volunteering you may not even realize. Here are a few:

  • Volunteering allows one to find new interests and hobbies and gets us out of our everyday routine.
  • Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and give back at the same time. In addition, volunteering increases social and relationship skills.
  • Volunteering offers the opportunity to work with diverse cultures, age groups and environments.
  • Volunteering is a great way to discover or learn a new skill.
  • Volunteering can boost your self confidence, self esteem and satisfaction. You are helping others, which in turn gives you a sense of accomplishment. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful can be healthy and energizing.  
  • Volunteering helps you stay happy and healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate and are happier than those who do not.                                                                                                                                                        

If you don’t volunteer, but have wanted to get involved in a cause you believe in, the opportunity is there. Only a few hours a month can make a difference.

Where do you find volunteer opportunities? There are organizations such as Rotary, Optimist International, Lions Club, and Kiwanis International, to name a few. Look at community theaters, museums, libraries, senior centers, churches, sports teams, after school programs, and animal shelters.

When looking for the right volunteer opportunity, consider these questions:

  • How much time are you willing to commit?
  • Do you feel more comfortable working behind the scenes or do you want a visible role?
  • Do you like working alone or as part of a team?
  • What causes are important to you?
  • How much responsibility would you like to take on?

 Yes, there a myriad of volunteer opportunities which will allow you to make a difference in your little corner of your community - while also helping yourself.