We have all probably been asked to volunteer at some point in our life. It is common to think we are only doing a service or a favor for others but for many who have volunteered, they experienced the many benefits we get in return. Now I'm not saying this is all about what can we get out of it but to maintain the perspective that volunteering is a two way street and impacts all who are involved in the giving and the receiving.
Let's first talk about the fact that volunteering brings people together. We get to meet new people and build a stronger sense of community with those around us. This is certainly a challenge in most countries because we tend to look after ourselves first of all and then our family and friends. However, there are some cultures around the world that live in such close knitted community that they never worry or doubt if they would be alone or left without support in almost any situation. Now i'm not asking you to give up your privacy or to stop caring for those closest to you but rather consider if there is more you could do to help others who may not have support in their life.
"The greatest rewards come when you give of yourself. It's about bettering the lives of others, being part of something bigger than yourself and making a positive difference." - Nick Vujicic
So how does volunteering benefit you? Two words: Personal Development.
Volunteering helps you have a better sense of well being and is generally a good mood booster. There is an irreplaceable feeling you get when you see the smile or tears of someone else's gratitude because of what you have done for them. It also allows you to challenge yourself by trying something new which may lead you to discover a newfound hobby or interest. Giving of your time, energy and emotions can help you build character and have a better outlook on life. When you are helping others and learning about the struggles they are facing it can really inspire you have more compassion as well as seeing your own struggles in a different perspective. The most practical benefit is the experience you can get to strengthen your abilities to work and be employed.
Let's take the first step together!
Ask yourself why you want to volunteer and what it is you would like to try? Are there specific skills and talents you can use or do you want to try something that is totally new to you? How much time do you have to give? Where do you start?
GLOW is always looking for volunteers to help support the women and young girls who come through our programmes. You can see the current opportunities by visiting the Get involved tab on our website or drop us a message through the Contact Us page. Comment below with any experiences you've had while volunteering.