As people, we are pulled in so many directions: work, school, family, spouses, pets, the list goes on. Some may wonder how anyone has time to do anything, let alone volunteer. But volunteering has some surprising benefits, both for you volunteer, and the organization you donate your time to.
I've been a volunteer writer with Pawsitive Alliance for over 3 years now. Even though I write for a living, there's always times I feel down on my work or like I'm not doing enough. Enter: volunteer writing. Writing social posts and Petfinder descriptions for homeless pets not only make me feel like I'm doing something good for pets, but it increases my skills and confidence in what I'm doing. It's a win-win for all.
Meeting new people
Volunteer opportunities are a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Ask yourself: how else can you meet people who share the same passions you do? It's been wonderful meeting the Pawisitve Alliance team and seeing how all of our strengths together are helping homeless animals find homes.
The feel-good effect
When you do good for others, studies show you actually feel better about yourself, your life, and the daily situations you face. Donating your time or your skillset--even if it's a little bit of time--can really make you feel better and happier, which in turn benefits not only the organization you're helping, but your overall mental health.
Learning new skills
Not sure you'd be good at writing? Want to try out customer service? Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills with no pressure. While I chose to donate my writing skills (skills I already have), there's nothing stopping me from trying and learning different facets and skills. Plus, there's always someone around who wants to help--so you can keep helping the organization be successful!
Want to try volunteering? Here's how you can get the most out of it.
Pick an organization you feel passionately about
As a pet lover, it was a no-brainer for me to volunteer my time to help pets find homes. If you love what the organization does and stands for, you'll have no qualms about donating your time and skills.
You'll want to make sure you know what volunteer expectations are, and if you have the extra time needed to make a strong commitment. Over time, you may be able to adjust your commitment—if you build trust from the beginning.
Make sure you pick a task you'll enjoy doing. Because I'm a writer by day and love creating and writing content, I utilized my passions to create the perfect volunteer opportunity. Because I'm happy, the organization benefits, too.