Volunteering, donating and passing good tidings on to others – these activities can be very easy to work into your day, and they can benefit you as well as your community. From creating important contacts for your career to boosting your self-esteem, giving back is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your community—or for yourself.
Who Do You Want to Help?
Volunteering makes the most impact when you are emotionally involved with your cause. Do you want to help the homeless or the elderly? Maybe you feel called to help abandoned animals or wild animals that have been hurt? Pinpoint where your interests lie and then look for opportunities to help in those areas.
Why Do You Want to Volunteer?
Regardless of where or how you volunteer, you’ll be helping others in your area—and in doing so, you then help your community as a whole. So spend time thinking about other things you would like to accomplish. Would you like to get more professional experience? Would you like to meet new people or network with others in your field? Would you just like to raise your spirits during the holidays or make them easier for someone else?
Where Should You Look for Opportunities?
If you know whom you want to help, it can be fairly easy to find organizations serving that particular population in your community. If you’re having trouble, contact the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce or the Department of Human Services for help, or use an online service like. Contact the volunteer coordinator and ask if they need anyone to provide the help you’d like to offer. There’s no shame turning down an opportunity with one organization if you find a better fit elsewhere, because every role is suitable for someone.
Enjoy the Results
While few of us enjoy working just for work’s sake, putting effort into helping others pays you back in many ways. In areas with struggling communities, providing support can help to decrease crime rates or the impact of poverty. After volunteering, your feelings of connectedness, pride and happiness can increase--in addition to an increased confidence in your ability to complete certain tasks and to make a difference in the world around you. There are even professional benefits as well. For instance, while meeting people at an organization, you can make powerful networking contacts and the experience you gain can be used to perform better at work and be added to your resume.
This holiday season, we hope you consider volunteering. Perfect opportunities exist for anyone who wants to get involved, and It’s time that's never wasted!