When you think of volunteering a few common thoughts that may come to mind immediately are:
- where will I find the time for it,
- doing something for nothing,
- having to do something that you may not necessarily be interested in, or even
- having to share time with people whom you don’t know.
This could all be true; however what I would like to share with you is the endless opportunities that are possible being part of a volunteer program.
It has been proven through research and countless interviews with successful people that part of a flourishing, satisfying and happy life experience is the ability to give back to your community, meet new people, network and share your skills, knowledge and your resources. As a result you learn new skills and become a part of creating something that makes a difference to others. This can be especially true for business people; and all this can be achieved through choosing to volunteer your time regularly.
There are many different programs to participate in. For example:
- helping at your children’s school,
- planting tree projects,
- pro bono organisations,
- sporting programs,
- clean up your neighbourhood groups,
- helping in hospitals,
- developing or assisting in self help or like interest groups.
If you Google ‘volunteering’ in your area you may find it amazing how much is out there and happening right now.
The benefits to you could be meeting:
- new clients,
- new friends,
- developing and enhancing your own self worth,
- spending more time with family who choose to participate as well,
- setting great examples for your children and
- learning new things about yourself, others and different ways of doing an activity.
People who volunteer their time, whether it be once a week or once a month, have been found to be happier, interesting, fulfilled and possibly most of all have a stronger connection to their community and sense of self and where they belong in the bigger picture. These people also find their resources grow and their business shows positive signs of growth.
Volunteering allows you the opportunity to safely step out of your comfort zone and do something different which in turn encourages you to take action on things you may have previously thought impossible. Try it and see.
The key is finding an organisation or group that interests you or you are passionate about. If you decide to volunteer for something you don’t believe in or support, it will soon become a chore and you will not stay the distance.
A sense of community and contribution; where everyone helps everyone else to develop, is not lost. It may seem though, not to be as high a priority as years past. Could this be why there are some of the issues in society today? Could we overcome this by satisfying our need to encourage and develop our community? What would we loose by making some time to help? Or what could we gain? The possibilities are endless; all you need to do is take the first step.