When most people think about volunteering, they often imagine tasks that help others. However, volunteering does much more than that and, in fact, often promotes personal growth and assistance for the volunteers in addition to the help it gives to others.
Some people have described it as a grounding or humbling experience, while others derive real spiritual benefits from volunteering. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 benefits of volunteering that you will experience as an individual:
- Personal Fulfillment
If you’ve had a rough patch lately or need to pick up your mood, consider moving outside of your regular schedule of activities and volunteering in some collective effort. This helps you gain perspective and perhaps a clearer view of your current situation.
Additionally, helping others can just make you feel better. The benefits are myriad and different for each individual, but personal fulfillment is often at the core of most volunteer activities.
- Moving Outside of Your Boundaries
Maybe life is too comfortable, and everything seems the “same.” You can change that by volunteering and doing something you haven’t done in the past. By changing your boundaries you will continue to push yourself as an individual while adding more meaningful moments into your daily routine.
- Learning New Skills
Certain volunteer organizations will even teach you new skills that you can use elsewhere.
- Making New Connections
When you volunteer, you meet new people and forge new connections.
- Growing With Your Community
Volunteering makes you a visible and active part of your local community.
- Greater Awareness of Issues
Volunteering allows you to learn about individuals from different socio-economic backgrounds, and will allow you to consider problems that you are not personally facing. This makes you a more informed citizen and better equipped to offer real solutions to problems within your community because now it’s a real face with a real problem and not just theoretical.
- Spiritual Growth
Part of the volunteer experience is growing and changing as you participate. You won’t be the same person as when you begin volunteering.
This change can be called many things, but many people who feel like they are losing track with themselves turn towards activities that help them contemplate outward rather than inward. Helping others or working towards something apart from one’s own goals helps develop perspective and a distinct sense of accomplishment.
- Helping to Keep You on Track
Individuals who have had a hard time of it lately or who need to recover from some kind of setback often turn to the perspective-granting power of volunteerism. Volunteering forces you to think outside of your box and even shatter it entirely.
And, the best part is, the longer you participate, the more it becomes about the project at hand than anything else, so you get a true escape from it all.
- A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out
The biggest misconception that people have about volunteering or doing any kind of charity work is that it doesn’t help.
In all actuality, participating in charity work and volunteer activities teaches you, first and foremost, that it isn’t about giving away things or working for free – it’s about building a community and sometimes that begins with individuals.
- The Person You Help Most Might Be Yourself
As we’re sure you can see from the above, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you as an individual to volunteer and help those around you. This is the single-largest advantage and benefit of volunteering and one that should not be overlooked. The more you better yourself, the more capable you are of helping others.