Between a work schedule and extra curricular activities, it can be difficult just to keep up with dishes and laundry at home. Our schedules fill up quickly and finding time to give back just does not seem like a possibility. However, when certain activities become important to us, they become a priority. We no longer make excuses, but instead commit and stick with it on a regular basis.
Let’s take a deeper look at what it means to give back through volunteering, as well as the benefits and ways to get involved!
Why give back?
Volunteering can be defined as an unpaid activity where someone gives their time to help a not-for-profit organization or an individual who is not related to them. Individuals in need, organizations and the community all rely on volunteers to move forward. One of the best parts of volunteering is the positive impact it has on the community where you work, live and play. Taking the time to give back, not only improves the community, it also has benefits for you, too
What are the benefits of giving back?
There is a great opportunity to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships through volunteering. This is a way to work with other individuals within the community. You get to know each other by sharing stories and experiences, which also helps with interpersonal communication skills. It is a chance to step away from electronic devices and have real, face-to-face interactions. It could even be a way to connect as a family.
Volunteering has been shown to reduce stress levels by making you feel appreciated and part of something larger. It allows you to be both physically and mentally active at the same time. Boosted self-confidence occurs too. Helping others has a way of decreasing the risk of depression. Individuals that have lost their sense of purpose may find a new meaning to life through volunteering. Who knew when you give back you actually gain so much personally too?
Fulfillment and enjoyment
By giving back, you get a feel-good sense and the more you do it, the happier you become! Whatever you enjoy, find volunteer work related to that. It should be relaxing and take you away from your typical day to day tasks. It allows you to clear your mind and it may even leave you feeling motivated. We were made to help others, so let’s get going.
How do I get started giving back?
When you give back, it doesn’t have to take up large portions of your time. Find something that you are passionate about and make it part of your monthly schedule. There are 720 hours in a month with 30 days. All of us can find 2 hours (0.28% of the month) to give back.
If you like animals, volunteer at the Humane Society one Saturday every month. Larger organizations, such as United Way or Habitat for Humanity, would appreciate your help. You could even give back by being part of a church or school committee. The opportunities are endless!
Getting started is usually the hardest part. If you are not sure where to start, join a friend who is currently volunteering. Commit to doing something with a co-worker. Do not give up if your first experience does not feel like a fit for you. Try something else. You’ll be amazed by what it feels like to give back. Give it a try! Your community thanks you in advance. It also sets a great example for our youth. In case you missed our previous blog, check out why we can have hope for the future.