Volunteering has always been a fun and productive way for people to give back. Whether you have volunteered with an organisation or a charity, the very basis of volunteering means to give your time to help. It gives you a sense of achievement and you are able to enrich the lives of people in your local community.
The volunteer work I have personally done in recent years have always been linked to my communicative and organisational skills. This ranges from facilitating tuition lessons at my local after-school centre, to the organisation of events for students. I’ve never viewed it as volunteer work, but rather as something to keep my mind active when I’m not busy. While I may not be changing the lives of young kids in a major way, I know I am passing on the knowledge I was given, which in turn makes me happy.
Something not often mentioned is that it is ok to think of voluntary work as a way to improve yourself. Very often people have a perception that those who volunteer have to do it for selfless reasons. The reality is if you do have a reason, it may just motivate you more. In many cases, people find themselves working with an organisation that aids a social issue close their hearts. It could be because they know someone who it affects, or it has affected them personally.
The main reason I found myself volunteering with various youth programmes is because I strongly believe in an education system that does not leave any child behind. Growing up, I had great difficulties with the memorised learning often prescribed in schools. If I did not fully understand a topic, it would not stick with me. In the same way, many students have different methods of learning and I found myself in a position to assist them in finding suited study methods. If I could have availed of a free after school service like that, it would have helped.
While volunteering I had to organise a career fair for the local youth group. I was put in a position where I had to talk to like-minded people who I may not have met otherwise. I got the opportunity to talk on the radio about the event, which was something I valued greatly.
A commissioned national survey carried out by the United Health Group found that out of 3,351 adults, 78 percent of them said that volunteering lowered their stress levels, 96 percent said that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life, and overall people agreed that it also improved their mood and self-esteem. There is undoubtedly a sense of calmness that comes with being focused on a task you believe in.
There is a lot of empathy that comes with being a regular volunteer. Sometimes it can put you in vulnerable situations, and as the person designated with a task, you have to be positive about the work you’re doing at all times. Remember, you’re making someone’s life a little bit happier.
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