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Volunteering: Benefits, Needs and Importance

In this fast track world where all struggle with busy lives and careers volunteering, may not be a priority. It may also seem quite impossible to squeeze in a few hours for volunteering at a charity. How can we? We have nine to five or ten jobs, WFH and family time. But we can find time if we look at the many good reasons for volunteering. We will know that it will not take precious hours of our time. Volunteering offers many gains, and it is beneficial for society as well as the volunteers.

It is heartening to see that the current generation is showing interest in volunteering. Many universities and colleges offer volunteering programmes to students under NSS. Such initiatives help to foster community bonding, responsible attitude and propagate a sense of achievement in the participants.

The following quote is my favourite because it says everything about volunteering.

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

~Elizabeth Andrew

I am sure many of us understand the benefits, needs and importance of volunteering. Global communities together make this world. Volunteering helps in building bridges that bind us together.

Importance of Volunteering

Volunteering by any individual essentially helps causes that matter, needy people and society. Non-governmental organizations, self-funded charities always welcome the generosity of volunteers as charities depend on meagre funds from government agencies or donations. They cannot keep salaried employees. The practical option for NGOs is to engage volunteers who would work for a small token payout or for free.

Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering brings benefits for the recipients well as the volunteers. The receiver gains from the services while the giver gains severally. Anyone who takes up volunteering benefits by doing service for people in need. Studies indicate that people who are depressed or lonely show positive signs after engaging in volunteering. Volunteering for whatever reason or for however little time proves to be immensely beneficial in the long run.

Volunteering creates social connections

Volunteering is a fun way to make friends, strengthen your social networking and decrease the loneliness in life. You get purpose in life when you are actively engaging in making a difference. The shared activity allows you scope for finding new relationships and destress. It is the best way to meet new people in a new city. Volunteering widens your social circle, support network and strengthens ties with the community. In the process, you might find people with whom you have common interests. By joining causes and working in a group, you learn to meet different people from all walks of life. It makes you a better person and human being.

Build self-confidence and self-esteem

Volunteering for causes builds a tremendous sense of pride and identity in the giver. Activities done for social good can boost your self-confidence by taking you out of your natural comfort zone and environment. Long term benefits of volunteering include a positive vibe that you feel about yourself, and later it creates a positive attitude that stays with you. Thus, you are kinder to yourself, feel good, and everything brings good vibes to your life.

Volunteering activities that take you to imbibe new cultures, traditions and meet new people is an insightful way to help you build self-confidence if you are a shy person.

It is especially true for young adults and adolescents who are stressed or have difficulty with people. Engaging in group activities for community well being is a great way to increase self-confidence and esteem and improve physical health in the process of volunteering.

Get a sense of purpose in life.

When you work without any selfish motive, it in itself is a reward. As a volunteer, you would be rendering your service to causes you consider worthwhile. It might be a pet shelter, orphanage or old-age shelter. If it appeals to you, it is all you need to start volunteering. Volunteers often tend to join causes that are close to their hearts. Thus, they feel a sense of fulfilment and better self-esteem. One can take up volunteering at any point in life because all that matters is the willingness to work for a cause you believe is worthwhile.

Forget personal problems

One of the best outcomes of volunteering comes from the sense of being purposeful. Having a purpose lets you set aside personal issues and work for the greater good. It leaves little time to stress by overthinking or brooding over unnecessary problems.

Good for your career

A hidden benefit of taking up volunteering includes brownie points in your resume. Employers consider volunteering work as a sign of good character and leadership in potential employees.

When you are working as a volunteer, it helps in improving your communication, problem-solving and planning skills. It also teaches you how to work as a team in difficult situations.

Hence, choose a good cause, close to what you believe in, from environmental issues to animal welfare, drug addiction to women self-help groups, and even helping people fight depression. The list is endless, and the benefits never-ending. Returns may not be in monetary gains, but we all understand that happiness comes in different bundles.

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