When it comes to living an altruistic life that can help make a difference for others, one of the most valuable things you can give your community is the gift of volunteering. Even in today’s Coronavirus climate, volunteering is an extremely important way to give back.
And while volunteering is beneficial to others, it can be extremely rewarding for you as well—in ways you might not have considered. Here are the top 8 benefits of volunteering.
1. Make new friends.
What better way to increase socializing during this time of isolation than by getting safely involved with others while contributing to a cause you care about? By volunteering with a nonprofit organization, you can meet other people who share your interests and make new friends.
2. Build your network.
In addition to the friendships you create through volunteering, you also have the opportunity to build your professional network. Like they always say: It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Volunteering with an organization gives you the perfect chance to meet professionals in an area you’re interested in who can serve as great resources as you further your professional and career goals.
3. Expand your resume.
Adding your volunteer connections, skills and experiences to your resume enhances the impression you make on potential employers—demonstrating that you are well-rounded beyond the work environment and that you find importance in the act of contributing to your community in meaningful ways. That goes a long way when many companies are seeking quality of character in addition to work experience.
4. Improve your confidence.
As you grow in your volunteer positions, it’s common to improve your confidence and self-esteem. Particularly when teens or young adults volunteer, they develop a stronger sense of self and self-worth through the value of work they commit for others.
5. Develop emotional stability.
With new friends, better confidence and a deeper sense of purpose, volunteering can even help develop stronger emotional stability. For instance, one study found in The Balance stated that when people with OCD, PTSD or anger management struggles volunteer, they feel more connected to others. This connection in addition to the act of doing meaningful work can decrease symptoms and improve social function.
6. Feel happier.
Volunteering helps to end loneliness, builds bonds and even improves mental health—all of which leads to feeling happier. The bonds we make through volunteering are especially important right now, while many of us are spending more time alone. When you commit time and effort to improving someone else’s life, you might be surprised at how much joy reflects back into your own life.
7. Learn something new.
If you get involved with volunteering for an organization, chances are you will have the opportunity to learn something new through your experiences. If you enjoy expanding your horizons and gaining new skills, volunteering is the perfect way to go.
8. Explore your interests.
Finally, no matter what you’re interested in, chances are there’s an organization out there you can connect with. Whether you have a deep passion for serving refugee families, helping children in the foster care system or working with animals, you can explore your passions, skills and interests all while serving someone else.
When it comes to volunteering for a cause, there are a variety of different reasons to get involved, now more than ever. These top 8 benefits are only a few of the gifts you can receive back from serving in your community. Get involved and see for yourself.