20 Apr Volunteering: Who Benefits the Most
By: Deborah Burrows
Remember the phrase “you get more than you give”? It fits perfectly when describing the benefits of volunteering. I’ve volunteered since I was 12. For over 30 years, I’ve been meeting interesting people, working on new challenges, seeing my contribution make a difference and learning how non-profits function.
Giving in general makes one feel good. However, giving time and talent—rather than just money—seems to have a compounding effect on one’s sense of generosity, purpose and mood. Whether counselling someone in need, caring for a senior, bringing food to the hungry or any of the many ways you can volunteer, you can’t deny the impact that connecting and giving has on your spirit and sense of worth.
Volunteering also helps one to live a more balanced life. We have many goals that we’re frequently trying to balance: family, financial, career, health, social, intellectual, spiritual. Volunteering brings depth to one’s social, intellectual and spiritual sides. It can also help younger people who are building their portfolio of ‘work’ experience and helpful work habits.
Especially during these days of isolation, volunteering has an instrumental role in helping raise up those experiencing financial, emotional, physical uncertainty. And luckily there are so many ways, even remotely, we can help others. By doing a web search on your town and ‘volunteering,’ you’ll find many opportunities. And for those of us with children, it’s never to early to role model giving.
Currently, I’m proud to volunteer with the United Way Simcoe Muskoka (UWSM). Whether I’m attending a board meeting, writing a blog, helping the External Relations Committee or donating in other ways, I benefit greatly from my experience. As a volunteer with UWSM, I’ve worked with superheroes like Lieutenant-Colonel Charleen Coulbeck (I had never met anyone from the Armed Forces!), learned about the staggering effects of the opioid crisis in our local communities and interviewed interesting people who are making major positive change.
If you’re looking for ways to feel good, balance your life and give, try volunteering. You won’t regret it!
About the author
Deborah Burrows is a business consultant and executive coach. She volunteers her time on United Way Simcoe Muskoka’s Board of Directors and External Relations Committee.