Do you find it hard to motivate yourself to get involved with a charity? Do you intellectually know it would be good to volunteer your time but still can’t tear yourself away from the TV? Lets take a look at some of the qualities and things you receive from volunteering and see if these can motivate you.
Why Do People Volunteer?
The general conception is that people volunteer to charities for truly altruistic reasons. These are noble reasons but you can also benefit personally by doing philanthropy. Time spent working for charities comes back in multiple ways.
Some people come from the notion that a volunteer should not get anything for their service. It is almost like saying that the act of charity should be done while feeling terrible. Not sure where they pick this notion up, because here are some reasons why volunteering benefits the giver as well as the receiver.
- Career Reasons– you get experience in different areas. This experience can be gained rapidly compared to opportunities at work. You get to develop new skills and make new career contacts unwatched by the boss and having to study new manuals during the weekend!
- Social Reasons – to do your part improving the community. Maybe you get to spend time with seniors, or feeding the poor, improvements to community come in small steps.
- Health Reasons – Volunteering opens your eyes to how good you have it. Sometimes the ability to shift your mental focus off of your problems helps break the cycle your thoughts were in trying to figure a way out of the problem. The sheer distraction from that downward spiral is one of the best reasons I can think of to volunteer.
- Helper High – Many people report that when they have finished helping others or working for the greater good there is a general uplifting feeling they experience. The feeling is referred to as a “helpers high.”
- Esteem – To feel like one is making a difference. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like your effort is needed and you are making a contribution.
- Spiritual Reasons – Consider that most people find themselves in need in one point in their lives. You can think of it as Karma/Gratitude/Restitution for gifts given but for some volunteering is being spiritually thankful.
All of these things happen for you. You receive all these hidden gifts plus the fact that your work is concentrated on other needy people. Maybe the reason that Christmas is the most peaceful time of the year is because we become focused on other people more?
In the second part of this volunteering series we’ll look at volunteering statistics. What country, gender, and age group contributes the most?