Volunteerism | Men Should be an Influence of Good

VolunteerWhy Volunteer?

You’ve probably heard of some of the biggest organizations available: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA, United Way and all the disasters they respond to. What’s important to take from this is that the “they” in the previous sentence is normally all of us – the volunteers. If volunteerism didn’t exist then there would be no responding to crises with the same impact that exists today.

We’re all familiar with volunteerism. For some of us it started in school, clubs, church or another avenue. For some of us it was our choice and for others because we were told to. Growing up I participated in volunteering because I was told to. It wasn’t totally forced though because I was brought up to help others and I did start to believe in it. But had I not been told to volunteer or had opportunities forced into my lap I’m not sure I would have participated. I had more important activities in my life like sports, getting good grades and having fun.

After leaving home at 18 and into my early twenties I started to develop a more altruistic perspective. Having to struggle on my own and experiencing some of the plight others were living in gave me a new perspective. There was a time I thought even the poor in Africa if they worked hard enough should be able to overcome it. How naive and wrong I was. In my early twenties I spent 6 months in the southern part of Mexico participating in volunteerism teaching English and soccer. Through my continued travels and time in the Army I was faced with seeing some of the hardships around the world and I came to realize how good we have it in the US. Once I had this new perspective I then started to see the same need here in the US. I would go as far as to say that I didn’t even see the plight in my own backyard before then. It may not be as bad as some of the 3rd world countries but the need is still great.

Reasons for volunteering will be different for all of us but here a few I think any of us can pick from to give us enough motivation to get out into the community, search for volunteerism opportunities and help out.

1) We all make a difference

Skill-set doesn’t matter. We can all participate and help. The world needs all of us. In volunteerism we are the “they”.

2) It’s an opportunity to learn and gain experience

You might learn a new skill or something about yourself. The opportunities are endless. You’ll grow as a person and boost your self-esteem.

3) Pay it forward

We normally don’t see how we’ve been helped in life because a lot of our benefits were made possible by sacrifices of those before us. It’s important to pay it forward. You can do some tutoring, mentoring, volunteer in a hospital or wherever you’re needed. This also helps remind us of our civic responsibilities.

4) It unites people

Volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicity and cultures. The common bond of volunteering brings us all: country, county or city together to accomplish one goal.

5) Resources are saved

It could be your city, school, community or family. All of which affect your future.

6) Reduces stress

They say volunteerism helps one get their eyes off themselves and onto others which in turn leads to being healthier. You’ll probably also experience emotions of joy, optimism and satisfaction.

7) Good way to meet new people

Looking for friends or a significant other with something in common? Volunteerism is a hobby.

8) Men should be an influence of good

This last one sums up all of the above. We should be responsible and role models for our brothers, sons and the generations to follow.

 

About John

Passionate. Life Learner. Thinker. Christ Follower. Investor. Conversationalist. Army Veteran. Dog Lover. Corporate Colleague. Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs fan. Follow me on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Don’t forget your “local” Veterans Administration Hospital! Many have thriving volunteer operations, and the veterans both love, and depend heavily on volunteers for many things. I’m heavily involved in ours, and it is such a wonderful experience! It gives me a chance to positively influence people on a daily basis.

    • Ben, awesome suggestion! As a veteran I can’t believe I forgot about it. In my area they come around collecting clothes too and I always try to set a bag out.

  2. I always struggle with volunteering, but when I get out and do it, I really enjoy myself. I try to do at least one event a quarter, usually through a structured volunteer event through my work.

    • My employee also organizes volunteer events and I’ll jump in on ones with my Church. Some days I’ll wake up not wanting to go but since I know I’ll enjoy it I don’t let that influence my sign-up decision.

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