Many people will talk about how charity ‘starts at home’ yet unfortunately the large majority of people who think in this way, actually do very little in their own home and community by way of volunteering. At the risk of sounding holier than thou I must confess that I used to be like this and I never did any kind of voluntary work. I met an old school friend however who was working for the American Fundraising Foundation, an excellent non-profit organization which was doing great work across the country. She inspired me to step up for my community and so gradually I began to help out with more projects and events in my immediate community. It wasn’t until I started volunteering that I saw the huge range of benefits which this created, and it is why I want to talk a little bit today about what those benefits are, and why you may wish to think about giving it a try.
Volunteering has a great knock on effect and it inspires many to do the same thing. Many of the men and women who I work with when volunteering were helped out in their younger days by people in the community who were happy to give up their time and dedicate it to them. As they grew up they became inspired by those who had freely given up their time and so they decided to do the same. This is a brilliant benefit of volunteering which ensures that more people do so in the future.
I have helped the local church with bake sales which has made them enough money to repair their roof, I have supported the local school with a free after-school club which has helped parents who work get free childcare, I have helped out a local thrift shop who make money which goes towards a local dog shelter and I have also helped out in a boxing gym (believe it or not) which encouraged kids to get off the street and into the gym. Without my input and the input of the brilliant people with whom I have worked, none of this would’ve been possible. Kids woul dbe on the streets, parents would be stressed or working less, mistreated dogs wouldn’t have been saved and the church may not have got a new roof. Volunteering really helps and you can be a great part of that.
Beyond the fact that you are doing all of this great work when you volunteer, you will also be able to count on a great sense of personal pride and reward. There is a beautiful feeling which you’ll get when you act selflessly, give up your time and help others, and if you could bottle that feeling then I most certainly would!
If you can spare any time at all then I would urge you to consider volunteering some of it to help others.