07 Feb Towards a lifetime of volunteering
Volunteers around the world contribute billions of dollars, worth of work and millions of man hours, every year. Right from the likes of UNICEF to the grassroots organizations across the globe, there are plethoras of dedicated volunteers utilizing their free time for a cause they believe in, and facilitating the work of the organizations they support.
Volunteers are indispensable to NGOs. They enable organizations to rise above their capacity and achieve more than they would otherwise. Right from fundraising, legal affairs, administration and field work; volunteers bring in their wealth of skills to the NGOs, allowing them to benefit communities, and work towards creating a better world.
Volunteering is not something restricted to the youth brigade or the retirees. Though they form a major chunk of volunteers, it is the group of skilled and experienced people that we need to persuade into volunteering. These are people with good experiences in their workplaces, which can be interpolated and transferred into the NGOs. NGOs are usually run like businesses, and when people, i.e. volunteers, bring in such skills on the table, it helps the NGOs to save money and be better able to support the cause.
Imagine a world where every person volunteered for just a few hours a week? Where every one of us dedicated just a small proportion of our time to supporting people in need. How many lives could we change? How much better could we make the world for every single one of us? The idea doesn’t just sound great, but can make a massive difference to the world we live in.
To help inspire you to volunteer, we’ve created a list of the top ten reasons why you should volunteer now and in the future!
1. Make a difference: It is easy to talk about some charitable causes and the wonderful work they are doing. But, wouldn’t it be much more awesome if you actually do something about it? Yes, Volunteering can make you that person who makes a difference that helps to change lives for the better.
2. Enjoy yourself: Volunteering can be an amazing experience full of laughter, new experiences and new friends. You will get to see and do things that you may not have the chance to otherwise. Volunteer and you’ll create memories that will last you a lifetime.
3. Improve your health: Yes, you heard it right! Recent studies have suggested that volunteering makes a measurable positive difference on individuals overall happiness and mental well-being. No more flushing in money into the gyms.
4. Develop new skills: Volunteering often pushes people to develop new skills and new ways of thinking. Just being in a different environment where people work differently can help you to develop lifelong skills that help you in every part of your life.
5. Give your career a boost: Volunteering is one of the most respected ways of gaining experience according to employers. You will not just gain the extra skills during your volunteering time, but the experience looks great on your cv, and gives you an edge while going for your dream job.
6. Be inspired: Most NGOs are full of interesting people, who have the most amazing, inspiring stories to share. Whether you are being regaled with stories from the past by an elderly couple or a young child is showing you all the different ways to look at the world, often you can’t help but be inspired!
7. Give something back: Most of us are fortunate. We take for granted what would be a luxury for a huge majority of people. There is unimaginable suffering taking place in almost every country in the world. Isn’t it our duty to be thankful for what we have, and give something back to the world?
8. Be part of something big: Though we would be able to donate a very small amount of time each week, think of what many of us could do collectively. Your actions could just be the one brick needed to ensure the building is complete. Powerful work is made up of thousands of actions from any number of people who come together to build something better.
9. Change lives: Many volunteering roles offer you the chance to contribute to people’s lives directly. Whether you are helping out in an old people’s home or at a center for disabled people, you can go and make personal connections while volunteering. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a pleasant conversation to brighten up someone’s day. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
10. Use your skills: Often referred to as pro bono support, this type of volunteering involves donating your professional skills to a charitable organization. Whether you are an accountant, lawyer, nurse, teacher, manager, mechanic or almost any other profession, you can find an organization that has a role for your skills.
Do you volunteer? What are you experiences? Should people volunteer throughout their lives? Let us know in the Do you comments.