It can be challenging to find the time to volunteer. With that in mind, around 23% of people have volunteered in recent years. This amounts to about 4.1 billion hours devoted to helping others.
There are countless benefits of volunteering that you can experience when you find the right organization to partner with. You can assist those in need while connecting with your community. Numerous organizations in our community are likely looking for people to help them with their causes.
This guide will discuss the top eight surprising benefits of volunteering. There are health, social, and career advantages to working with local agencies.
1. Build Your Self-Esteem
Doing good things for the community can create a feeling of accomplishment. You'll further boost your self-confidence as you experience a sense of identity and pride with the work you're doing. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can also contribute to those emotions.
Those good feelings won't stay with you only when you're volunteering. You'll feel the effects of them during your regular activities and work life. Experience a more positive view of your goals and overall life as a result.
Volunteering, especially in other countries, is a great way to push your boundaries for those who are shy. You can see the world, help others, and test your limits.
2. Nurture Existing and New Relationships
Connect with others who share similar interests and goals by volunteering. Participating in the same activity is a wonderful way to strengthen existing relationships and make new friends.
Practice your social skills with other people as you're forced to interact with others you might not have had the opportunity to otherwise. Volunteering is open to anyone who wants to make a difference. You can meet lots of people from various walks of life.
Volunteering is also a great opportunity to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. For example, you might've recently moved to a new city. By volunteering for a local organization, you can quickly expand your social circle.
3. Boost Your Physical and Mental Health
Volunteering can help combat the negative side effects of various mental health conditions. These can include:
Relieve your stress by working with others and forging meaningful connections. Volunteering with animals can also reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
You'll also develop a meaningful support system while volunteering. Lean on those around you if you're feeling depressed or going through something in your life.
Additionally, volunteering can make you feel happy. Our brains are hard-wired to help one another. You'll feel happier the more you give to others.
Stay in better physical shape by volunteering. You might start walking more or spending time outside with your organization.
4. Advance Your Career
One of the top volunteering benefits is the fact that it can give your career a boost. Volunteer in a field you want to learn more about. You can also practice essential skills that are vital for the workplace, including:
- Project planning
The skills you learn while volunteering aren't basic just because the position is unpaid. You'll likely receive extensive training depending on what type of volunteering you do.
5. Widen Your Perspective
The people we interact with influence us, whether that's positive or negative. It's easy to fall into circles with people that share the same views.
Volunteering exposes you to people that might think differently. You can learn how to interact with others in positive ways. Develop empathy and perspective by working with those who have different backgrounds than you.
6. Feel Like You Have More Time
It might seem silly to say that you'll feel like you have more free time if you volunteer. However, those who spend time volunteering do feel like they have extra time during the day.
Giving your time to other people without expecting anything in return can help you feel less time-constrained. This is especially true if you don't waste your time or spend it on yourself.
7. Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones
Don't make volunteering a solo activity. Encourage your entire family to join in on the experience.
Volunteering sets a good example for your kids, especially teenagers. Some of the benefits they can experience include:
- Improved grades
- Decreased drug usage
These effects can last for many years to come, not just while they're younger. In addition to having more time to spend together doing fulfilling activities, you might learn more about one another. For example, you could discover your child has a hidden interest or talent.
There are tasks for every ability and age when it comes to volunteering. Every member of your family can be proud of the work they accomplish.
8. Get Backstage at Your Favorite Events
Did you know that you might be able to get backstage by volunteering? You can do this by volunteering at the following types of events:
- Sporting events
This is a great opportunity for those who want to pursue careers in event management. It's important to keep in mind that you'll need to stay professional no matter how excited you are. Common places where you could volunteer include:
- Beverage and food stands
- Water stations
- Bag drop
- Information stands
Explore the Benefits of Volunteering in Your Community
The benefits of volunteering are limitless. There's nothing better than devoting your free time to improving the lives of others. Giving back will not only help them but make you feel good in the process.
If you're not sure how to volunteer, do a Google search for different organizations in your area. You can look at homeless shelters, humane societies, and youth centers as a jumping-off point. Volunteer this spring and encourage your friends to join you.
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