I work at a college as an Administrative Assistant and I organize meetings with external stakeholders who hire our students.
These meetings usually last about two hours and although by the end of them I am exhausted with taking minutes, I find them extremely enlightening. I learn a ton about the college program, the industry as a whole, and the state of the current workforce.
One thing that I have noticed is a common theme throughout these meetings is the complaint that students are not interested in volunteering.
Personally, I believe this to be more because of lack of time due to the work load of students, plus working part-time, and managing families and other outside interests.
But when I expressed my opinion, I was corrected that it isn’t just the students who are not volunteering as much anymore.
I was informed that it is a national problem and the volunteer rate has declined in all age groups.
This saddens me as I know there are many benefits to volunteering. It not only helps the organization or cause you are volunteering for but also has many personal benefits.
- to feel needed and valued, gain confidence and self-esteem
- to share knowledge and expertise
- to gain leadership skills, exercise problem-solving skills and be creative
- to build your resume
- to make new friends and meet new people
- to explore career options and research career alternatives
- to develop new skills and to keep skills current
- to gain valuable career-related experience
- to establish important networking contacts
I’m sure that this list is not exhaustive and there are other benefits to being a volunteer.
Francis Litzinger wrote a great piece on the value of volunteering:
Personally, I have volunteered in a number of capacities including helping students in grade 1 with reading skills, leading women’s Bible studies, organizing fundraising events, proofreading documents, judging writing contests, etc.
I have a whole section on my resume dedicated to volunteer activities.
The ways to volunteer are only limited to your own imagination.
If you’ve never considered volunteering before I encourage you to give more thought to it. You may be surprised by what you get out of it!
Kimberley Payne’s writing relates raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire women to live healthier lives that glorify God.