Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in the world and meet new people. From Jules Verne to Jane Goodall, there are many famous people who have volunteered their time and expertise. In this article, Cindy Imperato, board member of the American Red Cross, explains everything you need to know about why and how to volunteer.
Volunteering gives greater perspective and self-awareness
Many people seem to think that they have no need to volunteer because they are content with their job and life. The truth is that most people, even those who consider themselves extremely busy, have the capacity to volunteer. This is particularly true for people who are willing to put in the required hours.
When we act as if we are never going to need to volunteer again, we are missing out on the incredible experience and sense of community that volunteering offers. It’s not that we don’t want to help out; it’s just that we’ve been so busy that volunteering has seemed like a nice thought, but never an option. People who volunteer have the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, learn about different ways of doing things, and gain an understanding of how others see them. This perspective shift can be life-changing, explains Cindy Imperato, Board Chair of Broward County Chapter’s of the American Red Cross.
Volunteering creates empowerment
As a result of volunteering, people often report a sense of empowerment, as if they had been given permission to become leaders. They often report feeling as if they have the ability to make a difference and make an impact.
With the changes that volunteering creates in your life, you may even begin to question the idea of what a career in programming or finance would require. If you have always felt that you were undermersion or that there was something wrong with you for volunteering, this may be the reason. You may feel that you have to do everything and be the perfect volunteer because society expects you to be a certain way and if you don’t fit in that box, then you are labeled as a “bad” or “useless” volunteer.
However, no matter what the expectations are, you can always choose to create your own opportunities to help and give back to society. Volunteering is not about trying to fit into a box; it’s about creating your own opportunity to make a difference.
Volunteering offers unique and exciting opportunities
There are many different types of volunteering, but the core values that drive them all are the same. If you are interested in serving others, there is no good reason to limit yourself to what is available within an organization.
You can support causes that are unrelated to your own, create new experiences, and meet people from different walks of life. In fact, Cindy Imperato ads, volunteering can provide an incredible opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and gain an understanding of how others see you
Volunteering is a great way to build a resume
Many people are under the misconception that volunteering for a month in South Africa or helping out with an emergency crisis will make them a pro at volunteerism. While it is true that gaining experience abroad makes you more qualified to help out at home, it is also true that having a portfolio of experiences will help you stand out when applying for jobs.
Volunteering can give you an incredible sense of purpose, build your resume, and strengthen your relationship with your community. It can also open your eyes to new opportunities and challenges that you may not have considered before.