Volunteering

 

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

- Winston Churchill

Make a change. Inspire hope.

Share your kindness.

Be a volunteer.

Kimberly Olguin-Arellano

With savings like that, there's not much that can't be done to better the community. Better schools, cleaner parks and neighborhoods, and well sustained public buildings; these all become possibilities when you have a community that's working together towards one common goal.

Volunteers are crucial in providing useful services needed on a daily 

basis all over the world. whether it's feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, or maintaining an area's environment; Without volunteers, these goals would be very difficult to achieve.

"While we don't all have the same amount of money, we do have access to the same 24 hours in every day."

- Bill Clinton

Why Should I Volunteer?

Community

Benefits earned through hard working volunteers go beyond the free labor. On average, volunteers contribute 8.2 billion hours- worth about $152 billion a year (Grimm). An organization's volunteers are just as critical as its donations, if not more so, because the resources saved through them are then used to further improve and expand.

Studies have revealed that there is a direct relation between

good civic health and the employment rate within a community.

When civic health is higher, people have more optimism for

their communities. When investors, employers, and consumers

feel greater commitment to where they live, they may be more

likely to spend, invest, collaborate and address problems in their

own communities. In addition, volunteer work provides great

work experience, confidence, and several useful skills that can

make someone a desirable employee. The odds of being unemployed were twice as high in a community with low civic health in comparison to one with high civic health. (National)

Community

A high amount of volunteers in one area can make for a good environment to grow up in as a child. Being a volunteer teaches important values, such as compassion, gratitude, and community responsibility. It breaks down stereotypes and teaches tolerance. Studies have found that youth who volunteer at least one hour a week are less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Furthermore, those who volunteer are more

likely to do well in school, graduate, vote, and be philanthropic. (Friedman)

(Grimm)

Why Should I Volunteer?

Personal Rewards

Volunteering has an abundance of benefits for the volunteers as well as the ones receiving the help. The majority of them being health wise. To actually benefit from these rewards, a minimum of only 2 hours a week volunteering is required.

  • Lower Anxiety
  • Lower Mortality
  • Lower Rates of Depression
  • Sense of Fullfillment and Meaning
  • Sense of Pride and Identity
  • Increase in Self-Esteem
  • Increase in Overall Happiness
  • Stronger Immune System

Along with the health benefits listed, participating in volunteer organizations and making a difference during your free time can make your college or work application really stand out. Volunteering is also a good way to test out possible career options you might be considering and see if you really like them.

In general, those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater

functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who

do not. Younger volunteers may not experience the same benefits from

volunteering, because of the greater likelihood that their participation is

obligatory. However, that does not mean that these benefits are gone

completely. They're just not as prominent as they are in adults and seniors. (Grimm)

"When people are self preoccupied, they are also occupied with the problems of the self. When people volunteer in the community, there is a lifting of that anxiety, and they tend to be happier." (Kornblum)

Personal Rewards

Meeting new people and making friends is an opportunity given at any non-profit organization. A person's social connections, as well as their roles in a team, can provide meaning and purpose to his or her life. (Grimm)

Studies have shown a high probability that happiness is a general boost for the immune system. The act of giving itself creates a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, making volunteer work an indirect boost for the immune system.

Where Can I Volunteer?

The Peace Corps have been a leader in international development and citizen diplomacy throughout 139 countries for over 50 years. Since 1961, their mission has been to promote world peace and friendship. They aid in climate change, food security, disease, and gender equality.

To join, you have to first create an account on their website. Then you can select the continent and field of work that you wish to be a part of. From there, they'll give you a list of options you can choose from. Within a few months they'll let you know whether there is room for you to go.

The only requirements are that you be 18 years or older and a US Citizen. Keep in mind that all of the projects begin almost a year after the application due date.

 

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity is a non profit christian organization that builds sustainable, energy efficient homes for people in need. They've helped over one million families. To volunteer, you can apply to help in a habitat for humanity project near you on their website. You can also choose to go on a one to two week trip to build homes anywhere throughout the US. Even bigger, you can choose to take a 6-12 month trip instead. In most of these programs, shelter and food is provided.

Soup Kitchens can be found all over America and are always in need of volunteers eager to help. Soup Kitchens are meal centers or food kitchens that feed the hungry for free. More than that, they also provide warmth, companionship, and the experience of dining with others. Soup Kitchens are supplied by countless food drives. To volunteer at one, you can go to the website FoodPantries.org and you can find some near you. For volunteers, they request that you call.

animals. They promote this by providing low cost vaccinations, spay/neuter, and medical treatments. You can volunteer by helping clean the cages, fundraisers, assisting employees at the SPCA thriftshops with customers and donations, and simply keeping the animals company. As long as you're over 18, if you're interested in volunteering, you can download or pick up a form to fill out and return. After returning the form, they will contact you and inform you of a date for orientation where you will recieve a tour and learn basic handling for the animals.

Where Can I Volunteer?

Founded in 1907, the SPCA is an organization whose mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for homeless animals as well as help find loving families for them to move into. The SPCA advocates for humane animal treatment and care as well as spaying and neutering of all companion 

Where Can I Volunteer?

Built in 1913 by a generous endowment from John Handley, the library's mission is to provide the community with the best resources to educate, inform, entertain, and inspire. To volunteer, you can go to their website and under the tab 'support the library' select 'volunteer'. There is a form you are required to submit on your contact information, your availability, and the type of work you wish to help with. Submit the form and they will get back to you when volunteers are needed.

The Discovery Museum, originally built in 1993, was recently renovated. Their mission is to ignite creativity, spark curiosity and inspire learning in everyone who steps inside. They do so by having interactive exhibits and programs that focus on science, math, the humanities, and art. From learning about the maintenance to helping with the educational programming, there are a variety of tasks available when volunteering. To volunteer, the only requirement is that you read the volunteer handbook and submit an application. Both of which can be found on their website.

Think Locally