Volunteerism is the original Random Act of Kindness although not entirely random. One in four Americans volunteered last year (25.4%) contributing 7.9 billion hours for many different non-profit organizations like food pantries, religious affiliations, homeless shelters, etc. How great is that?!
On the other hand, volunteerism has decreased 1.1%, with the top reasons against cited as:
- Time: Read “commitments” and the frustration when you solely are responsible for everything because volunteer A-Y bailed
- Money: Between gas to haul materials for set-up, postage for donations and thank-you notes, snacks for target audience and volunteers, and funds actually spent at the event, finances can be daunting
- Parenting Responsibilities: Small children, adorable as they are, are notorious for their energy suction capabilities and monitoring necessity
- Qualifications: If volunteers are interested in offering their time, a primary concern is how they can help or, more specifically, what tasks they will be completing
Benefits of Volunteerism So, what? Valid question. Aside from the estimated $175 billion benefit, there are individual benefits too including:
- Increased Happiness: Being “very happy” rose 7% among monthly volunteers and 12% for those who volunteer every two to four weeks
- Social Health: Meet new people and increase social and relationship skills
- Mental and Physical Well-Being: Improve self-confidence, combat depression and reduce risk of heart disease
- Employment: Provide career experience and enjoy a 27% greater chance of employment
- Role Model: Encourage and motivate others especially when you volunteer as a family and children have the opportunity to witness the benefits
- Having Fun!
Become a Volunteer To get started, check out: Local Opportunities:
- United Way of Dunn County
- Stepping Stones of Dunn County
- Dunn County Humane Society
- Mayo Clinic Health System
“Volunteering and Its Surprising Benefits.” : Helping Yourself While Helping Others. HelpGuide.Org, 2014. Web. 13 Aug. 2014. “Volunteering in America.” Corporation for National and Community Service. USA.gov, 2014. Web. 11 Aug. 2014. “Volunteering in the United States, 2013.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 09 Aug. 2014.