volunteering

The Joy of Giving Back & Volunteering

Did you know that volunteerism is alive and well in Australia. At least 1 in 4 Aussies volunteer each year according to www.volunteer.qld.org.au.

Thank goodness for our volunteers, as the need is great.

As great as the need is, most people do not realise that the rewards to the volunteer, can be of much significance as well.

REWARDS OF VOLUNTEERING 

In the same way that you really cannot put a price on an individual’s life, you cannot put a price on the rewards of volunteering. They are vast and varying.

People complain about being bored! So, volunteer. Problem solved.

It truly is amazing how many lonely people there are in every neighbourhood.

All they have to do to resolve this, is volunteer. This is a way to not only meet new people, but you can also find others with similar interests to yourself. How good is that! Better still, they will most likely live close by.

Looking for inspiration, countless volunteers have had great inspiration from volunteering, so why not see how awe inspiring, offering your services freely to benefit others can be for your own self as well as to others.

Have you noticed that people who volunteer are happy people. They have a smile on their face, a beaming countenance. Funny how volunteering brings out the best in all of us.

Substantiated facts show that volunteering can actually make us healthier and happier. I reckon that’s a great bonus.  It truly enriches our lives, places value on our input, perhaps this is why volunteers call this “the feel good factor.”  So don’t you think it may be your turn to try it?

THINGS YOU CAN LEARN BY VOLUNTEERING

Most of us have thought about trying something new, something that we haven’t done before. You can actually try out things you have always been interested in, expand yourself. They may be nothing like your current paid profession.

It may also be additional to your current profession. Not all volunteers are given the opportunity to expand their work horizons, so your volunteering experience can be advantageous for your CV and future work prospects.

There is no pressure to perform as you are offering your help or expertise for free, so you are able to just be yourself – no one to judge you. Such a comfortable way to try on a new direction, just by applying your skills or interests.

Many people who volunteer believe it changes their own lives, some dramatically. Everyone has something to contribute. Helping others in a meaningful way is a valuable contribution.

VOLUNTEERISM AND THE CORPORATE SECTOR 

Once upon a time, our bosses used to look for ways to increase productivity in their workplace by providing staff with new ways to increase performance.

This was generally by means of a  list of incentives – free dinners- a weekend away with a partner—a voucher to the movies, etc… today, corporations are realising that to retain loyal and self-fulfilled staff, they need to provide them with a means of self – satisfaction that is different.

Many staff today look for employment in organizations that give back to their community, companies that think beyond financial reward and willingly contribute to the good of the local community. Companies that provide greater purpose.

Corporate volunteer programs involve time, talent, skills, energy and resources by a company’s workforce and bridges the gap between the company and the community.

Community bonding is a huge concept in business thinking and a tremendous tool for branding in this modern age of awareness.

When corporations volunteer and/or sponsor charities, they help strengthen their state and build the value of their community sector, according to VCOSS (Vic. Council of Social Services). They help shape their community.

What a positive and wonderful way to pull the community together. Such a magic way to grow your business and retain great staff too.

image1-smFINDING YOUR VOLUNTEERING NICHE 

To find your perfect fit in a volunteer role, you probably should start with what you can offer? Find a role that suits your interests- motivation-your availability- location.  All these factors are significant.

Ask yourself, do you want to volunteer on a regular basis, do you prefer one – off projects or perhaps micro volunteering. What talents or skills can you bring to the table?

Now ask yourself what causes or issues are you passionate about! Do you want to work with children, older people, animals, the environment, etc….

If you are like me, you also might be interested in helping the truly needy. There are way too many homeless people in all our neighbourhoods. Homeless shelter volunteering is one of the many rewarding choices you have available to you.

One such homeless shelter, Sheltered By Grace, is in need of additional staff to operate their new shelter shop in Beenleigh. They are also looking for donations for their store in York Street Beenleigh which opened on July 6th. This could be the perfect way to start your volunteering journey.

They operate a homeless shelter in Waterford, Logan. There, the options of volunteer roles are quite vast. You may wish to just spend a little time having a cuppa and a chat with one of their clients or you may wish to potter in the garden with one of them.

You may even have specialty skills, or a vehicle to transport a client to an appointment or perhaps to pick up donations for their shelter shop.

Personally, I think there are numerous roles to fill. They simply need someone like you!!

 

About the Author Lisa Loakes