As Community Volunteer Connections celebrates its 45th anniversary, I’m asking myself about the benefits of volunteering. Community Volunteer Connections has had the honour of working with amazing volunteers since 1976. What has drawn these hundreds of volunteers to do this important volunteer work?
Why do people volunteer and what are the benefits of volunteer work?
There are many reasons that people volunteer, and give their time. Whether it’s helping with social issues in neighbourhoods, bettering the environment, helping youth reach their potential, helping out at a festival, or any number of other causes, you’ll find many benefits in participating:
- Making friends and connections provides happiness and a sense of belonging in a community
- There is fulfillment and fun in helping others
- Learn new skills and experiences to advance your career
- Networking provides new connections to new volunteer opportunities or even paid work
- Good for mental & physical health. This was emphasized during the covid pandemic. There are many negative aspects of social isolation – research has shown that social isolation is worse than smoking cigarettes
- Joy in integrating and welcoming newcomers
- Make your community a better place to live
Decide what’s important to you in donating your time and talent. After you’ve made the decision to volunteer, but you haven’t decided yet where or why you’ll volunteer, here are some things to consider:
- Try something new
- Meet new people
- Do something rewarding with your spare time
- Try new places, experience a different way of living
- Expand on interests and hobbies
- Try new skills or different work to pursue a full-time job
- Improve your neighbourhood
Choices in volunteer work
Whether it be a Farmers Market, youth project, arts & culture centre, environmental group, sports event or festival, animal shelters, seniors homes or libraries, there are so many organizations to choose from in your own community. You may want to try to find these::
- Now that covid restrictions are lifting there are more and more in-person volunteer opportunities
- Try virtual Volunteering, which became popular and for some, a necessity during covid. Virtual volunteering makes volunteering accessible to those with limitations, such as lack of transportation, disability, or time constraints
- Volunteer with friends or as a family, and share the joy and fulfilment of contributing your time and talent to a cause you’re interested in
Finding volunteer work
Now that you’ve decided what kind of volunteer work you want to do, how do you find it?
- Try finding nonprofit organizations that do work that you’re interested in supporting, then look at their website for volunteer opportunities
- Ask friends and family if they know of volunteer opportunities – use your network
- Register with an organization that connects volunteers with those nonprofits, like Community Volunteer Connections. We’ve been doing it for 45 years!
Community Volunteer Connections
Simply register with Community Volunteer Connections. Our purpose is to connect eager volunteers with nonprofit organizations who need volunteers! Nonprofit organizations ask us to post information about their volunteer opportunities, and let us know who they’re best suited for and how to apply. Community Volunteer Connections lets you know about them through our website, on FaceBook, Twitter and now, through our new weekly newsletter Volunteer Voice. You receive Volunteer Voice automatically and for free with your registration.
Once you’ve found your volunteer work, enjoy, as you make an important contribution to your community and cause!