The Benefits of Volunteering: 8 Reasons to Volunteer
Many people can find it challenging to volunteer because they are immersed in the daily events of a busy life. Others wait to volunteer until they have extra time and money. What these people don’t know is that the return from volunteering is much greater than the initial investment. If you put an hour aside on one of your slow days and insert yourself into your neighbourhood or community, you can make a genuine difference in the lives of others, but also in your own life.
In this article, we will discuss 8 benefits of volunteering, including social, emotional, physical, and professional benefits, plus offer some tips for finding your next volunteer opportunity.
Sense of Purpose
Volunteering can allow you to find your purpose and become part of something greater than yourself. For example, if you are unexpectedly unemployed, retired, or have lost a loved one, by helping others you can give your life new meaning and a sense of purpose while also keeping yourself mentally stimulated.
Sense of Community
Volunteering and inserting yourself into your neighbourhood can give you a feeling of connection to those in need in the community. It may even make you want to get involved with other aspects of your community, such as social issues like homelessness. Before long, you may find yourself advocating for programs that benefit those in need and that you also believe are particularly important or that tend to get overlooked.
Connect with New People
Volunteering allows you to connect with people from different backgrounds, letting you learn from their perspectives and grow as a person. It also helps you to build your own network by giving you the confidence to approach people that, without that volunteer activity, might be harder to reach . When you are networking with others, you don’t have to have formal conversations in a professional business setting. You can develop meaningful relationships through volunteering by having casual connections with people with similar interests while supporting an important cause.
Increase your Social Skills
Volunteering gives you a chance to talk and meet new people, and as a result, you end up sharpening your social skills. By spending a portion of your time working with others and making use of your social skills - including active listening and relationship management - you will have the opportunity to develop the tools you need to grow and enrich your future personal, leadership, and business relationships.
Volunteering may boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. This happens because when you do something that you feel is valuable for your community, it gives you a sense of accomplishment that may help you feel more fulfilled about your life. As a result, you improve your sense of self-worth and end up feeling much better about your ability to achieve your future goals.
Happiness and Health
Volunteering can enhance your sense of happiness and, as a result, your physical and mental health. By nature, people feel happy knowing they are helping others. According to a 2010 study by United Health and Volunteer Match, 68 percent of those who have volunteered reported that volunteerism boosted their health. That same study also found that 73 percent of volunteers mentioned that volunteering contributed to lowering their stress levels. Therefore, volunteering can be said to improve not only your levels of happiness but also your physical and mental health overall.
Build Your Resume
Volunteer experience in Canada is highly valuable, especially for newcomers who haven’t had the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience on their resumes yet. It is a great chance to convey to the world that you are willing to share your time with an organization, that you are interested in building communications and leadership skills, and that you have a sense of commitment and responsibility that can be applied to future job positions. According to research conducted by Deloitte, employers are more likely to hire candidates with volunteer experience because hiring managers tend to believe that volunteering develops useful experience and key leadership qualities in potential job candidates. . In all, it would seem, including volunteering experience on a resume has the potential to make any applicant significantly more attractive to employers.
Gets you out of your comfort zone
Through volunteer work, you may do something new with people you may not know, and by doing that, you may leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself to learn something new that will benefit not only others but also yourself. You may face several problems that you have to solve as a volunteer that will require you to exercise your critical thinking skills, and in the end, this will almost certainly aid you in your own personal and professional development.
Where to find volunteer opportunities
You can volunteer at Haven Toronto as an individual or as a group of 6 people if you belong to any organization that is eager to give something to its community.
The open volunteer roles with us are the following:
- Kitchen Assistant for breakfast service
- Kitchen Assistant for lunch service
- Clothing Room Assistant
If you are eager to give back to your community, meet new people, and improve your health and well-being, organizations like Haven Toronto can benefit from your help .
Spring is here, and with this, our drop-in centre requires extra hands to support our staff in delivering social service programs to our clients, elder homeless men. To learn more, visit www/haventoronto.ca/volunteer.
Source: Carolina Salinas, Haven Toronto