Did you know the benefits of volunteering have been widely documented throughout our history, dating all the way back to Confucius in 500 B.C.?
Confucius believed there were great benefits to be had from a life of public service, both to the individual and to the greater community. And we’re inclined to agree with him!
“He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.” – Confucius
Benefits to the community
Volunteering directly benefits the community you choose to volunteer in. The work empowers non-profits and other smaller organizations that might not have had the resources to hire full-time staff to do the work required. Volunteering also raises awareness for issues and interests that may not have otherwise had a voice. The more people who choose to volunteer their time for an issue, the more that issue will be visible to the public. When choosing where to volunteer your time, consider what issues you are passionate about, and go from there.
Volunteering helps to strengthen a community by bringing a diverse range of people together to work towards a common goal. A community thrives when all its members contribute – not just a select few. That is another great thing about volunteer work – anyone can do it!
Benefits to the volunteer
Volunteer work has been shown to reduce stress, combat depression and lead to a greater sense of wellbeing in the individual, providing a sense of purpose and meaning. Volunteering with a local community organization allows you to feel more connected and engaged with that community. Not only that, but it allows you to connect to like-minded individuals within that community. Many lasting friendships are forged through volunteer work! Volunteering can also connect you with people you wouldn’t normally have met otherwise, as volunteer work attracts people from numerous backgrounds, age groups and abilities.
Volunteering also allows you to try new things and develop skills you might not have otherwise developed. By volunteering for a diverse range of causes, you might discover new skills or passions you might not have previously known about. A study from George Washington University found that volunteer programs are often more effective than business school training at promoting a greater diversity of learning.
Volunteering has a positive effect on your physical body as well, even potentially lowering your risk for heart disease! It simply makes you a happier person. Volunteering has been proven to make those who choose to do it more empathetic, which leads to higher life satisfaction overall.
We all desire a sense of purpose and belonging within our communities. Volunteering is an easy and fun way to achieve this for ourselves while also giving back.