You can say that volunteering is considered altruistic. After all, most volunteers spend their own time to help others. And that, in itself, should be enough. But there are many benefits from volunteering.
I read a post from Volunteer Scotland that listed many benefits from volunteering. One of the most immediate benefits is making a difference. By helping out at a soup kitchen, for example, you not only help the people who are served, but also you help the nonprofit organization behind it, by freeing up one of the charity workers to do other things.
Some volunteering also has health benefits, as well. Working with animals help reduce stress and anxiety.
You can learn new skills, make new friends, and help your community. There really isn’t a dramatic downside to volunteering.
You may think, “Well, ok, what can I do? ” The answer is “what can’t you do? ”
There are nonprofit organizations that cover almost everything you could possibly imagine. You just have to be looking in the right places. One great site is Volunteer Match. You can look for something specific in your area through their search engine.
A few years ago, there was a fire in California and it got me to thinking that I am not as prepared as I’d like to be… And I wanted to help my community in some way. I looked at the Red Cross and found classes but that’s not exactly what I wanted. I wanted it to be free (because I’m cheap) and I wanted it to be specific to my area. After looking around, I found the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). After joining them and taking classes, I’ve learned useful things, such as how to size up a building after a disaster, how to triage victims, how to use a fire extinguisher properly… And much more! I’ve also met many people from different CERT teams around California. There’s bound to be one in your area, if you’re interested.
I recommend that everyone take the basic level classes. You learn so much from just a few weeks of your time. It all comes down to how much is your time worth to you? I hear people say that they’ll volunteer when they have more time. Guess what? That doesn’t exist. It’s just like saving money. You have to commit to it and just do it.
I’ve shared one of my stories about volunteering… Share yours in the comments!