The Importance of Volunteering

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Volunteering

Volunteering can have a positive impact on the community but did you know that there are a number of benefits for the volunteer? When you volunteer you can develop new skills, advance your career, make new friends and network but did you know there are also a number of intrinsic benefits to volunteering. Volunteering can help you to have a positive outlook on life, feel valued, contribute to the community, increase your self-confidence, develop new interests, motivate you, provide you with a sense of purpose, it may combat depression and helps you to stay physically health.

Top 10 reasons to volunteer

10: It’s good for you

Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It:

  • Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
  • Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system.

9: It saves resources

Volunteering provides valuable community services so more money can be spent on local improvements. The estimated value of a volunteer’s time is $15.39 per hour.

8: Volunteers gain professional experience

You can practice the skills you have learnt

  • Test out a career.
  • May be able to obtain paid work after placement

7: It brings people together

As a volunteer you assist in:

  • Uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal
  • Building camaraderie and teamwork

6: It promotes personal growth and self-esteem

Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy.

5: Volunteering strengthens your community.

As a volunteer you help:

  • Support families (day care and care for older people)
  • Improve schools (tutoring, literacy)
  • Support youth (mentoring and after-school programs)
  • Beautify the community (beach and park clean ups)

4: You learn

Volunteers learn things like these:

  • Self: Volunteers discover hidden talents that may change your view on your self-worth.
  • Government: Through working with local non-profit agencies, volunteers learn about the functions and operation of our government.
  • Community: Volunteers gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs.

3: You get a chance to give back

People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about.

2: Volunteering encourages civic responsibility

Community service and volunteerism are an investment in our community and the people who live in it.

1: You make a difference

Every person counts!

Getting the most out of volunteering

It’s important to ensure that your volunteer position is the right fit for you personally and professionally. Volunteering should be enjoyable and rewarding.

  • Ask questions
  • Understand what your role is
  • If it isn’t what you expected or you don’t enjoy it, try something else
  • Communicate with others
  • Enjoy yourself

Where to obtain a volunteer position and/or placement

There are a number of areas you can look at to seek volunteering

What do you need before you approach an organisation

  • Police check – contact the Community and Counselling team to organise this for you
  • Updated resume
  • Dress appropriately

volunteering
References
http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/uhg/pdf/2013/unh-health-volunteering-study.ashx

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/work-career/volunteering-and-its-surprising-benefits.htm

Ten Professional Development Benefits of Volunteering (Everything I Learned in Life I Learned through Volunteering). Mary V. Merrill, LSW, Merrill Associates

Article by Wendy Webber
Head of Faculty
Community Services and Counselling