Volunteering has a meaningful impact on your community. It contributes to the overall social and economic health of the community, as people are engaged positively into contributing for disadvantaged sections of society. It could range from visiting the sick, planting a tree or advocating for human rights. But apart from the benefits to the society, we most often miss the benefits it can have for the person who is volunteering. Here are some ways how volunteering can benefit you –
Learn new Skills
Volunteering can help us learn more skills and makes us aware of our hidden skills. We can help organize a fundraising event, do an awareness event, or teach students in a school. By doing this we can improve our goal setting, planning or budgeting skills. It also helps us to improve our decision making skills and contribute to personal change by affecting our beliefs about day to day behavior of people. If you always had a hobby and you wanted to know if you should pursue it, you can volunteer with your skills to see for yourself whether you enjoy doing it or not, or where you stand in that skill. For example, taking initiatives like ‘No Waste‘ and ‘Dandi March‘ has certainly made a huge difference to my people management and leadership skills.
Sense of Fulfillment
When we volunteer, we give our time and skills generously by choice. There is no anxiety and stress as we have made the decision all by ourself. Therefore, volunteering gives us the highest level of accomplishment and a sense of fulfillment. Whenever I have helped others, I have always felt joy and I think it is the same with all human beings. Even after working on something physically stressful while volunteering, people always feel stress-free, relaxed and more alive after doing it. And irrespective of the outcome, the knowledge of contributing to a good cause is always rewarding.
In our busy day to day lives, volunteering can help us create some stability in our lives. The confidence and experience gained from volunteering can be helpful in seeing workplace issues in a different perspective. We discover new traits of our personality and can reach for new levels of performance at the workplace too. For me, meeting people from different age groups and different professions has given me the ability to put my world in perspective with so much other stuff happening which I was totally unaware of earlier. It has also helped me improve my social and interpersonal skills. Volunteering can help anybody get out of the ‘rat race’ and create a balance in their lives.
Connecting with others
When you volunteer, you will meet new people from different walks and segments of the society. These contacts can be valuable in establishing business contacts or for seeking employment in the future. Meeting people and making new friends increase the feeling of relatedness with the community, and is rewarding intrinsically. People and societies depend on each other for survival but commercialism and consumerism have seen people getting more and more individualistic. What better way to connect and give something back to your community than volunteering.
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another” is a popular quote by James Keller. We can not give something (out of free will) without getting something in return. When we give our time and skills to another, it is like lighting a candle. We don’t lose anything, but gain more light (knowledge). Volunteering always leaves us richer in spirit, happiness, skills and takes away your problems, stress and anxiety. If you have not spend time volunteering till now, do so. It is certainly one of the things you must experience sooner than later. For volunteering opportunities, see this initiative (Pick A Fight) I am taking with a few of my friends.