More people are doing volunteer work in the US than ever before!
The latest volunteer statistics are as mind-blowing as they are heart-warming:
Well over 77 million Americans volunteered for one cause or another last year. In total, they racked up 6.9 billion hours of volunteer work, which equated to around $167 billion in economic value.
It's clear that this country is full of dedicated and kind-hearted individuals looking to give something back.
You can guarantee that their hard work and commitment makes a mighty difference in the lives of others. As it happens, though, the volunteers themselves will have enjoyed a plethora of benefits as well.
That’s right, the advantages of volunteer work aren’t all outward-facing. In truth, there are all sorts of incentives to donate and/or volunteer your time and money to good causes.
Would you like to find out more about them?
Keep reading to discover 7 immense personal benefits of volunteering.
1. New Skills and Experience
People volunteer for a wide range of causes and organizations.
You can rest assured that charitable endeavors exist in almost every area of need. Homelessness, mental health, old-age, physical injury, and community fundraising are just a few examples.
You may never have worked in a particular field, with a certain population, or been tasked with certain roles and responsibilities.
However, when you’re volunteering, that often doesn’t matter.
As long as you’re passionate and conscientious, volunteer work is a great way of trying something new.
The result? A major learning opportunity and the chance to develop a host of novel skills. You’ll walk away from volunteer work with newfound expertise and insight.
2. Improved Job Prospects
Gaining new skills and knowledge is gratifying in its own right.
But the benefits don’t stop there; you’ll enjoy some practical perks too.
For example, you automatically improve your job prospects. The skills and experience you’ve earned make you more valuable to an employer. Beforehand, you may have lacked the experience required to fulfill their job criteria; with it, you’ll be in the running.
Not only that, the simple fact you’ve volunteered says something of your personality.
It shows dedication, diligence, a good work ethic, and caring nature. These positive attributes make you more employable too.
3. Newfound Awareness
It’s easy to walk through life ignorant to other peoples’ challenges and unique situations.
Depending on how you grew up, the plight of strangers can sometimes remain a mystery. That all changes when you start volunteering for charitable organizations.
Suddenly, you’re confronted with the reality that many people live in challenging and in some cases, dire circumstances. It’s far harder to turn a blind eye when you’re forced into such awareness.
This often serves to place your personal struggles into perspective; your problems may pale in comparison. Moreover, you might find a new passion for improving the lives of others. It may even change the direction of your life.
4. The Chance to Travel
Not all volunteering happens on home soil.
You could choose to make a difference elsewhere in the world.
Indeed, countries near and far all have their struggles. Combining your desire to volunteer with your urge to travel is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
You’ll find no shortage of organizations in desperate need of your help. You could build schools in Africa, work in mental hospitals in Asia, or teach English in China. Wherever you decide to go, you can guarantee both a challenging and rewarding experience.
On the subject of travel, here’s more info about the first Esperança hospital ship that sailed through the Amazon!
5. Goodwill and Self-Esteem
At a basic level, volunteer work simply feels great.
The rewarding nature of good deeds is one of the most fundamental benefits of doing them.
Making a difference in the lives of others has a positive impact on everyone involved. The people in need benefit from your time and efforts; you enjoy a sense of goodwill, which boosts self-esteem in the process.
This isn’t mere speculation. There’s a lot of interesting science behind good deeds too. It seems humans are neurologically programmed to benefit from doing them.
6. Personal Development
Everything we’ve mentioned above makes volunteering a one-way ticket to personal growth and development!
It’s an inevitable end result of the new skills, awareness, and level of care you cultivate.
The experience will challenge and force you into new and unexpected predicaments. You’ll be seeing and doing new things that push you out of your comfort zone.
Facing these struggles and overcoming them will change you for the better. You walk away as a contributing member of society, and a better-rounded person overall.
7. New People, Connections and Community
Sometimes, it’s not what you know but who you know that matters.
Volunteering has a habit of growing your network, friendship group, and a sense of community. Why? Because all work of this nature has relationships at its core.
You’ll meet new people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Colleagues and service-users alike have the chance to become new and valuable parts of your own story.
Many of the individuals you work with will share your values and ideals. Still, others will be vastly different! It doesn’t matter, though- the shared task at hand will bring you together. Friendships made through volunteer work tend to form rapidly and last for a long time.
After all, you come together around a common goal, which will forever be a glue that binds you.
Time to Try Volunteer Work
Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular in the US.
Tens of millions of people now contribute to good causes around the country. Given the extent and array of need that exists out there, it’s good news too!
Each and every individual that donates their time and/or money to voluntary efforts makes a valuable difference to the lives of others. Even better, the volunteer enjoys a host of rewards as well.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted the key advantages that volunteering puts on the table. Give volunteer work a shot and you’re sure to gain a plethora of rewards in the process.
Have we convinced you to give volunteering a try?