Volunteering: Building Bonds, Brightening Lives

Anonymous

8/21/20232 min read

Volunteering is essentially the act of contributing to your community and society through selfless actions. You might wonder why individuals invest their free time in endeavors that don't offer financial compensation. This article aims to address that query while highlighting the various advantages that volunteering brings!

Building Connections

A significant perk of volunteering lies in the opportunity to connect with new people. Through volunteering, you can forge relationships with fellow students, volunteer coordinators, or leaders. These connections introduce you to like-minded individuals who share your interests, potentially keeping you in the loop about upcoming events organized by the groups they're associated with. This networking aspect also nurtures your interpersonal skills, which prove invaluable not only in your professional life but also in your personal interactions.

Enhancing Physical Well-being

Volunteering often involves physical engagement, be it planting trees, distributing pamphlets, cleaning up litter, coaching sports, or participating in fundraising walks. Engaging in volunteer work promotes physical activity, subsequently contributing to volunteers' overall physical health. A study from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has linked physically active volunteers to a lower mortality rate compared to non-volunteers. Moreover, volunteers benefit from reduced risks of health issues like high blood pressure, a condition associated with heart disease and stroke.

Boosting Mental Health

Volunteering also plays a role in bolstering mental well-being. For some individuals, spending time with others outdoors counteracts the impacts of stress, depression, and anxiety. Recognizing the interconnectedness of mental and physical health, one's improved mental state positively affects their physical health and vice versa. An intriguing phenomenon, often referred to as the "helper's high" or "happiness effect," stems from our innate social nature. The brain rewards individuals for aiding others. A study in the Journal of Happiness Studies reveals that volunteers tend to experience higher levels of happiness. Volunteering not only provides a sense of self-satisfaction from aiding others and the community but also cultivates a positive self-view that extends to one's personal and aspirational outlook.

Gaining Experience

This aspect holds immense value, particularly for high school and college students. Volunteering experience reflects important qualities like initiative and a willingness to assist, which resonate well with prospective employers. Volunteering presents opportunities to gain insights into fields of interest before committing to a career path. Beyond the aesthetics of a resume, volunteering imparts valuable skills applicable to your professional life. Whether it's specialized expertise garnered from volunteering at hospitals or crisis centers, or transferable skills like communication, public speaking, and leadership, the benefits are extensive.

Clearly, volunteering offers a myriad of gains, and the absence of monetary compensation should not deter consideration. Exploring local organizations, perusing your city's volunteering resources, or seeking assistance from your school's guidance department can provide you with avenues to get involved. Embracing volunteering can open doors to personal growth and meaningful contributions to your community.