The Value of Volunteer Work

Giving of yourself makes life better than ever!

By FamilyTime


Becoming a volunteer is a great way to get involved in the community, to meet new people and to learn about local and perhaps broader issues. Start with a small commitment; most likely it will grow as you become more involved.

What is more, when you volunteer you learn something new, even as you challenge yourself. It is also an opportunity to put your special talents and skills to work.  

Where Should You Start?
Do you prefer working with adults, children, animals? Perhaps you are more interested in governing boards and policy decisions. Do you dream of working outdoors? Do you want to help the environment or feed the homeless?

If your children are in school, consider volunteering at the school. You could tutor, work in the library, volunteer in the office, or work on a special event.

Check the bulletin board at the library for ideas. Look in the paper and even in the Yellow Pages. Search the Internet. Your town or city might have a list of organizations that need volunteers on its website.

Think about established organizations that might need volunteers, such as the Boys or Girls Club, Share Our Strength, The American Cancer Society, the Audubon Society, the local nature center, food bank, or hospital.

To get your feet wet, volunteer to work on a fund-raising event for an organization. It's a good way to learn if you want to become more involved.

Keep Expectations Realistic
You may want to jump into a project or join a group with all your enthusiasm but it’s usually a good idea to start slow. Be realistic about your time commitments and your energy. As you become more involved there will be ample opportunity to take on more responsibilities.

Be prepared to see the rest of your life gain some new perspective. Trivial problems very often lose significance, and the good things in our daily lives take on a re-energized shine when we give of our time and ourselves.

When we extend ourselves beyond our homes and offices, we meet all sorts of people. This broadens our horizons and makes life more interesting. You learn new things every step of the way about life and about yourself. 

What could be better?