Most of us spend the majority of our life working. Whether it’s in a big corporate office, a classroom, a cubical, at home (even though this is a labor of love) or out on the farm, we do this “job” day in and day out because we have to. Don’t get me wrong, many of us enjoy our job and gain great satisfaction in what we do, but ultimately, we do it because we need to satisfy our bottom line. However, when we get the chance to volunteer, it seems to be, at times, a more fulfilling experience for all involved. There’s something about giving your time and energy to those who need it most that fulfills a void in our heart – a void many never knew existed until they participated in the selfless act of volunteering. Just as the famous tennis champion Arthur Ashe once said, “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”
Nonprofit organizations depend on the giving nature of volunteers; however, volunteers often reap satisfaction and benefits of volunteering by becoming involved in their communities. Not sure how volunteering can be a personal benefit to you? Here are four reasons to consider volunteering.
Live Longer and Healthier
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, over the past two decades we have seen a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social benefits. Those who volunteer have shown to have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Comparisons of the health benefits of volunteering for different age groups have also shown that older adults are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, whether because they are more likely to face higher incidence of illness or because volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing.
Establish Strong Relationships
Volunteering brings together a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Both the recipients of your volunteer efforts and your co-volunteers can be a rich source of inspiration and an excellent way to develop your interpersonal skills. Volunteering also offers an incredible networking opportunity. Not only will you develop lasting personal and professional relationships but it is also a great way to learn about people from all walks of life, different environments and new industries. Networking is an exciting benefit of volunteering and you can never tell who you will meet or what new information you will learn and what impact this could have on your life.
Good for Your Community
From supporting families to improving schools to beautifying your town, volunteering can be a fantastic contribution to your community. Whatever your passion, however you get involved, volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.
Gives a Sense of Purpose
Last but certainly not least, studies have shown that volunteering gives you a sense of purpose in life. Most people want to live a life full of meaning that accomplishes a specific purpose. We want to see that our actions can make a difference, improving the world and helping other people. One of the most important components of understanding how to live a purposeful life is uncovering the issues, people and needs that you’re passionate about. Volunteering can help you discover this passion and allow you to share this gift with others. As Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
There are several volunteer opportunities in Bosque County, one being Lutheran Sunset Ministries (LSM). Sunset Auxiliary volunteers are compassionate, industrious and caring individuals who serve with the common goal of supporting LSM in its mission of caring for the needs of others. Sunset Auxiliary volunteers serve in various ways. From participating on our Annual Quilt Auction committee to volunteering their time at the Pot O’ Gold Thrift Store to directly working with residents, the opportunities are endless. If you have the time, enjoy being with people, look forward to making new friends and want to be a part of a long-established ministry, Sunset Auxiliary may be for you. For more information, call 254.675.8637 ext. 2224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.