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7 Benefits of Volunteering

By April 6, 2022 Advisor, Blog, Consumer, News

There’s a saying, “Life and love aren’t about what you gain; they’re about what you give.” What a great way to sum up the purpose of volunteer work.

While many of us feel overwhelmed with work, school, family, and other obligations, there are many benefits to performing volunteer work. These come in the form of physical, emotional, and professional perks, all of which can enrich your life and help you grow.

Unfortunately, since COVID-19 became widespread, the need for volunteer work has reached an all-time high. Many regular volunteers suspended their work to abide by lockdown protocols, resulting in a volunteer shortage. Additionally, the pandemic has affected the ability of many charities to fundraise effectively, as they were impacted like other organizations by employment and income deficits.

Thankfully, National Volunteer Week is on the horizon in April. Celebrated April 17-23 this year, it is the most notable celebration of volunteerism across Canada. Spearheaded by the organization Volunteer Canada, their goal is to promote and celebrate volunteerism across Canada. National Volunteer Week is an excellent opportunity for people to get interested and get involved in various worthwhile causes.

If you don’t feel comfortable socializing yet, we encourage you to explore volunteer opportunities that might be a good fit for you online. In the meantime, join us for a rundown of some of the most exciting benefits you can reap from volunteering!

1. Make a Difference

One of the most apparent and rewarding benefits of volunteering is making a true impact in people’s lives and on the broader community.

Many non-profit organizations rely on the generosity of their volunteers, counting on their hard work and passion for the cause to move the needle toward success. As one of those volunteers, you’ll have a positive impact not only on your community but on society at large. Thus, your contribution – whether small or significant – can inspire change for an organization that needs help and funds to continue operating.

2. Learn New Skills

Don’t underestimate the chance you’ll have to learn something new as you complete volunteer work. Volunteering in various roles gives you more opportunities to learn several new skills to which you might never have been exposed otherwise. Some of those skills may even become hobbies, passions, or careers!

Depending on the type of volunteering you do, the skills you acquire may be physical, social, mental, or even emotional. Regardless, it’s always fun to learn something new and share it with others, bringing something helpful or interesting to the lives of your friends and family.

Ultimately, volunteering can expose you to new experiences and skillsets that you can build on throughout your life.

3. Meet Friends

Connecting with new people has been challenging over the last few years, especially given the lockdowns and pandemic restrictions. Volunteering is one easy way to expand your horizons and make some new acquaintances you might never have met otherwise.

Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people, as you are more likely to encounter individuals who share the same interests and values as you. It’s easier to make friends when you’re in a group working towards one common goal!

Finally, if you’re on the more reserved side, volunteering alongside other passionate and generous individuals can help you improve your social skills and expand your network. It’s a no-stress situation where you can socialize while making a meaningful contribution to society.

4. Increase Your Sense of Purpose

Besides contributing, volunteer work can boost feelings of accomplishment and increase your sense of purpose, positively impacting your mental health. You can count on feeling like you made the world a slightly better place when the day is done. Moreover, volunteering gives you something additional to strive for and commit to outside of your regular obligations.

We all want to feel that we’re living our lives in a way that matters. Why not experience that extraordinary feeling by giving your time to a worthy cause?

5. Build Your Experience for Your Career

If you volunteer for a cause related to your current or future career, you can build upon your existing skillset to gain more valuable experience. For instance, volunteering as an assistant at a blood drive or helping a non-profit grow its social media presence can both carry over to careers where these skills are used.

Alternatively, suppose you’re in a different line of work but have been toying with the idea of making a career change. In that case, you can volunteer for an organization that specializes in the field. This is one practical way to get hands-on experience before applying and is an experience you can share with future interviewers to demonstrate your passion for the industry.

Additionally, keep in mind that the people you meet while volunteering could be professional or personal references down the road, or open doors for you by connecting you with the right person to get the employment ball rolling.

6. Stay Both Physically & Mentally Active

Whether you’re a retiree or a 25-year-old with a desk job, staying active – both physically and mentally – is an essential part of keeping healthy.

These days, many people are living sedentary lives. If you find yourself sitting in much of your free time, consider volunteering to increase your level of activity. Regardless of whether stuffing envelopes or carrying boxes, most organizations would be happy to accommodate your level of physical capability in exchange for assistance.

Mental activity is just as important as physical activity, and volunteering is one great way to stay engaged. Organizing fundraisers, taking orders, or even sorting files are great examples of volunteering opportunities that can keep your brain sharp.

7. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Last (but certainly not least), volunteering is a fantastic way to venture out of your comfort zone. Trying something new can be an exciting adventure, as there are endless volunteer opportunities to choose from!

If your experience consists of entirely new tasks, think of it as a chance to exercise critical thinking skills that will aid your personal development, ultimately making you a more well-rounded individual.

Conclusion

There are myriad ways to get involved and make a difference in your community by volunteering. Get started by considering the types of organizations you’re most interested in, and then browse the web for volunteering opportunities near you! An easy way to start is to look at your insurance provider. Canada Protection Plan and Foresters Financial offer their members access to unique member benefits that help families live well, have fun, and give back to their communities, including access to financial grants to organize volunteer, and fun family activities within their communities.

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