The Benefits of Volunteering

Five ways lending a hand makes a meaningful difference.

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Sara Carpenter / Shutterstock
Sara Carpenter / Shutterstock

Lending a helping hand shows others that they are not forgotten. There are hundreds of thousands of volunteer opportunities available worldwide. From working at an animal shelter to volunteering at a children’s center, any person can make a difference for the better. Although volunteering can be deemed a selfless act of generosity and consideration, volunteering also provides one with several physical, emotional and mental benefits. The following are some of the common benefits of volunteering:

Facilitates a sense of community

Volunteering builds a sense of community as many people come together for a greater good. By sharing a big overall goal, deep connections and camaraderie is built between volunteers and even those being helped. This sense of community unites the minds and hearts of many people.

Dispels loneliness

The act of volunteering alleviates feelings of loneliness. It’s one thing to get out of the house. However, volunteering helps people become part of something bigger. One gets to surround themselves with many who are in need of help. If a person is more inclined to work with animals, then volunteering at an animal shelter might prove to be very therapeutic.

Improves self-esteem

One’s self-esteem and self-worth will get an immediate boost as they volunteer. Volunteering not only gives a person a sense of purpose, but it also shows them that their effort and presence is valued. They get to see the difference they make through contributing to a cause. This establishes a newfound confidence within a person which one can then exercise within the other facets of their life.

Builds interpersonal relationships

With volunteering, people learn and develop social skills. A person can improve their communication and patience by volunteering, allowing them to have more effective conversations with others. It also facilitates compassion and empath.

Brings empathy and compassion

Sometimes people aren’t aware of other peoples’ struggles until they get a closer look. Volunteering gives individuals the opportunity to see life from other peoples’ perspectives which can minimize judgmental and harsh perceptions. Empathy is not about feeling sorry for another person. However, it is about understanding others and what others go through. By having greater empathy, one can find greater resolve and peace of mind.

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