Hello SOTGC community!
As the holiday season approaches us, I feel it’s the perfect time to talk about volunteering …. Volunteering allows you to work with others in a dynamic way that provides you with the opportunity to give of yourself, of your energy, of your compassion, and of your strength, in order to make some sort of difference. I use the word “dynamic” because volunteering really does involve an exchange between two individuals, two societies, two worlds … where, not only do you have an effect on something or someone as a volunteer, but the experience you gain in return is beyond fulfilling, humbling, and, in some cases, life-changing.
No matter what you are studying or what field you are working in, an experience involving some volunteering can be very worthwhile, as it will often provide you with chances for self-growth that may not necessarily be found through employment. Here are five things to keep in mind when deciding on what type of volunteer experience you would like to pursue ….
1. Fill a VOID
We have all experienced those moments in life where we see something that we wish we could fix or we realize that something is missing from the picture …. Why not use volunteering as a means of filling a void in society? Whether it be a service that is missing in the community, something you can educate the public on where knowledge is lacking, or an idea for a new solution to a long-standing problem, use volunteering as an opportunity to make a difference where one is needed. Observe the world around you, ascertain where a given void exists, and use that void as a starting point!
2. It’s about PEOPLE
When volunteering, seek out opportunities that allow you to interact with, and thus learn from, people from all walks of life. Volunteering allows you to connect with people from different cultural, social, educational, religious, and professional backgrounds. You may also have the opportunity to gain insight into the challenges that face populations that are vulnerable or marginalized by society. Make volunteering about interacting with people and learning about people … after all, volunteerism is humbling in that it brings us in closer proximity with our own humanity.
3. Try something small
You don’t necessarily need to volunteer with a large organization to get the most out of your volunteering experience. As a new volunteer, you are often allocated larger responsibilities and can have more hands-on opportunities to make a difference when becoming involved with a smaller-scale or local organization. These smaller organizations are also often less well-funded and so your help will make an amazing and significant difference!
4. Try something NEW
Use volunteering as an opportunity to learn something new! Try something you’ve always thought about trying. Sometimes school and work do not provide us with enough opportunities to diversify our interests and our experiences and thus volunteering can be the perfect chance to engage in something that may be completely different from what we do on a daily basis!
5. Pick something you are PASSIONATE about!
Finally, pick something that you enjoy and are passionate about! If you are passionate about a cause,
you are much more likely to invest your time and energy into it and thus give it your all!
Happy volunteering my dear readers!!! Enjoy … may it be a fulfilling experience!
My dearest SOTGC community, I hope this post has provided you with some insight into the power of volunteering and the things to think about when choosing a volunteering experience to partake in. If this post resonated with you, share it with your friends, family and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter! We’d also love to hear from you about your own experiences with volunteering and how it has changed your own life and perspective!