Benefits of Community Service

5 Selfish Reasons to Volunteer

-Written by Sidni Garwood, Rainbows' Volunteer Coordnator

 

5 Selfish Reasons You Should Volunteer

Ok, Ok…I’m not actually calling YOU selfish. However, as the agency Volunteer Coordinator, I often want people to know that volunteering benefits more than just Rainbows as the recipient organization. There are actually some really great rewards that make volunteering reciprocally advantageous!

This is why I compiled 5 reasons (besides making a difference!) that you should consider volunteering for your community.

 

1. It’s a resume builder.

 Having a strong volunteer history displays a personal commitment to the community and an eagerness to serve for the benefit of others. Many companies even have their own internal volunteer program. Employers love seeing volunteer experience on an applicant’s resume. Still a student? Even better. The college admissions process has become increasingly competitive, and can depend on more than GPAs and test scores. Volunteering can help set you apart!

Volunteering can also give you the chance to “try out” an occupation before making a long-term commitment or choosing a career path. In some fields, you are able to volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. This is a great way to get experience in a new field to determine if you even enjoy it, before pursuing it as a career.  Your volunteer role might also expose you to professional contacts, groups, or internships that could potentially benefit your career goals.

 

2. It’s healthy.

Volunteering is actually good for you, both mentally and physically. It has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall frame of mind. Experts have reported that when you focus on someone or something other than yourself, as with volunteering, it disrupts your usual tension-producing patterns. Volunteering can also help improve our general moods and emotions, giving us a greater sense of optimism, joy, and meaning.

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy too. Studies show those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who don’t. Older volunteers are also more active, meaning they tend to walk more, find it easier to manage everyday tasks, are less likely to have blood pressure issues, and have better cognitive skills.

 

3. It’s a great networking tool.

Volunteering provides an easy and organic way to make new connections in your area, without having to attend formal (and sometimes awkward) networking events. Generally, volunteer opportunities have a friendly, no pressure environment. This means you’ll have a chance to meet others and make genuine conversation with people who share your community interests. Odds are you will likely meet new people and make solid social connections while taking part in community service.

 

4.  It’s eye-opening.

Helping others can present a new perspective and has the ability to teach us something, if we let it. Community service can introduce us to demographic hardships, social issues, or health struggles that make us actually think, formulate opinions, and develop passions. Volunteering has the potential to shed new light and make a lifelong impact on your views. Volunteering can educate us in ways that a classroom can’t. There is so much to see and to know, most of which we never learned about in Biology class or while writing our Master’s thesis. Partaking in new experiences can be just as important as what we learn in school.

Aside from gaining special experiences, volunteering also gives you the opportunity to learn about your area and the organizations within it. Many of us have driven by “that non-profit” a million times and never really known what services or resources they provide to the public. Walk in the door as a volunteer and you’re certain to learn all about the organization and how it benefits the people in your community!

 

5.  It’s actually fun!

It is no doubt that volunteers are an invaluable asset to not-for-profits and community organizations. We try really hard to make our volunteers feel appreciated at Rainbows, but we also want them to have fun!

There are many ways to get involved. Volunteers help Rainbows by:

  • providing an extra helpful hand while interacting with Rainbows children in Childcare or at Camp
  • assisting our records departments with clerical work such as filing and data entry
  •  tackling outdoor projects to improve our grounds and landscape
  • staffing one of our major fundraising events throughout the year – Fashion Passion, Blarney Breakfast, GLOW Run | Walk, or Peter Hampel’s Luau

And, that’s just a few! No matter the role, we truly believe that you’re guaranteed an enjoyable experience as a Rainbows volunteer!  As we prepare for our next upcoming event, Peter Hampel’s 10th Annual Luau, we are in the process of recruiting volunteers. If you don’t believe me when I say volunteering is fun, I would love for you to join us at the Luau to see it for yourself! The Hampel Luau is Saturday, August 26, 2017 at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. If you have any interest in hearing more about this opportunity to volunteer with Rainbows, please contact me directly:

 

Sidni Garwood | Volunteer Coordinator

sgarwood@rui.org | 316.558.3422