Perhaps you have a little extra time on your hands this summer, have a volunteer requirement for your school or club, or maybe you feel the need to grow and expand your horizons. Whatever the reason, everyone should volunteer at some point and here are some of the reasons why!
1. You become a part of something bigger than yourself. If you’re ever feeling like you’re in a funk or like you need to focus on something besides your own drama, there is no better way than giving back. You will be amazed by the feeling of accomplishment when a child learns a skill you taught them. Decades down the road you will get a sense of pride when you see a house or playground you helped build.
2. It pleases the Lord. The Bible is full of references about how we are to treat and help each other. As Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Doing Christ’s work of loving others not only fulfills His commands, but also reflects positively on Christians.
3. It helps you gain perspective. It’s incredibly important to see the world outside of the one where you were raised. Learning about other places and cultures gives you full and fresh views. Walking in the shoes of those less fortunate than you will make you a more compassionate and kind person.
4. It’s healthy. According to recent research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, there is “a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.” (See full report here.)
5. You get an opportunity to actually help someone. These days it can be rare to provide a genuinely needed service to someone. Volunteering takes the guesswork out of it. It’s even a step up from donating because you’re actually using your own hands, feet and talents.
6. It looks good on résumés and college applications. Jobs, universities and scholarship funds love to see that you are involved in your community! Many leadership positions will not even consider you as a candidate unless you have a certain number of hours of community service under your belt. Getting your very first job can be hard without any experience, but volunteering counts!
7. It expands your network. You will meet interesting people and possibly even lifelong friends that you may never have met otherwise. This is especially true if you participate in a program in a place geographically different from where you usually reside.
Looking for ways to get involved? Here are a few places to start!
Where is your favorite place to volunteer? What did we leave off the list?