The Benefits of Volunteering
The hours in our days are filled with working to support our families, car-pooling kids to extra-curricular activities, running errands and more. Volunteering may be something you have always had a desire to pursue, but due to other priorities – it got pushed aside.
When considering the benefits of volunteering, you may find that the impact it has on your life, your well-being and your community is truly worth the time invested. We’ve compiled a top 10 list of the benefits of volunteering; but, don’t be surprised if after your first experience – you discover even more.
Make a difference in someone else’s life. Volunteers are absolutely critical to the work of countless non profits. As of 2012, over 64.5 million Americans volunteered 7.9 billion hours, doing everything from walking dogs at the local animal shelter to mentoring a child. The economic value of American volunteers in 2012 was an estimated $175 billion dollars!
Gain work experience that will improve your resume – making you more attractive to future employers. In fact, a June 2013 report compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service, found that unemployed volunteers have a 27 percent higher chance than non volunteers of finding a job.
Become a mentor and share your expertise with others. Who did you look up to when you were a child? Did someone help you when you were first starting out in your career? You can be that support system for someone just starting out!
Improve your mental and physical health. The old adage that it's better to give than to receive holds true with volunteering. Research conducted by the UnitedHealth Group showed that 94 percent of respondents who volunteered in the last 12 months said that volunteering improved their mood.
Develop a new skill or gain knowledge about an unfamiliar subject. From public speaking to computer programming, volunteering can provide an opportunity for you to try out something new.
Network, make new connections and friends. Volunteering gives you the chance to interact with people outside of your immediate social and career network. Return the favor. Perhaps you’ve been helped in the past and want to give back to simply express gratitude to that same organization.
Lead by example. Whether you're a business owner, manager, teacher, or parent, you probably have someone that looks up to you. By volunteering, you are demonstrating the importance of giving back and helping others in your community.
Gain self-confidence by making an impact in your community. There are few things in life that provide more satisfaction than helping others without expecting something in return. You'll feel great about yourself and a community need will have been met.
Increase your social skills by communicating with others that have a common interest. Not only will you meet and interact with tons of people while you are volunteering, many non profits provide social events for their volunteers.
So what are you waiting for? JA is always in need of volunteers, and getting started is easy! You provide the enthusiasm, life experience, and a willingness to teach children about how you took chances to shoot for the stars. We’ll provide the training, curriculum, and a classroom ready to meet you. Click here to join us, and start making a difference in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders – today.
---Blog written by Shannon Livingston on behalf of JA USA.