Volunteering: the many amazing benefits and how you can get involved
By Amanda Owusu
Posted on July 26, 2021
Volunteering can come in many different shapes and forms, but it is essentially the act of giving up your time and labor for free, and for the betterment of your community. There are many different things you can do to volunteer your time, so look for opportunities that align with your interests. This makes for an enjoyable and enriching experience.
You can volunteer from home, at school, at work, in your community, and numerous other places. Volunteering can be something you do alone, with friends, or with family. It can be something you do once a year, or something you do every weekend. Volunteering is not only beneficial for your community, but it is beneficial for you too. This article will touch on the benefits of volunteering and how you can get started.
Why should I volunteer?
There are many benefits to volunteering that can positively impact lots of people. The effects of volunteering are not just felt by one person, but also by you and those around you. Here are some benefits of volunteering for you to consider.
1. Volunteering can be your way of contributing to positive change in the world
By volunteering, you’re helping someone or something that is in need. You can volunteer your time to help in a wide variety of fields, as there are many ways that you can help. The little change you make by volunteering your time can be a part of a bigger, global change that takes place. For example, if you are passionate about animals, you can volunteer your time at an animal shelter or animal rescue program. Volunteering your time with these animals could have a larger positive impact on those around you, making the world a better place.
2. Volunteering can help you improve your job prospects
Volunteering can allow you to gain better job opportunities and prospects. You can volunteer with organizations or companies that you hope to work with one day. You can also volunteer in positions related to your professional interests. Volunteering in these positions can allow you to gain valuable connections, further your knowledge and experience, and build up your résumé.
3. Volunteering can help you gain industry-related skills
If you’re looking to develop employable skills for all kinds of jobs, volunteering can help you do this. You can volunteer in fields that can help you gain the skills you are looking for. For example, if you volunteer with a not-for-profit organization, you could possibly be working to collect donations from numerous donors and people in public places such as malls, event centres and busy intersections in the city. Through this volunteer work, you develop your communication, English, and public speaking skills. This is just one example of the valuable transferable skills that you can develop while volunteering.
4. Volunteering can be good for your physical and mental health
Volunteering is said to have many physical and mental health benefits. Depending on the type of work you are doing, volunteering can help you be more active, which comes with increased physical health benefits. Studies have also shown that volunteering can lead to better mental health as well. An article published by Harvard Health Publishing, discusses how volunteering can lead to lower levels of blood pressure, better mental health, and reduced levels of stress. Moving to Canada can be a stressful experience and volunteering can be a healthy way for you to cope with the changes.
5. Volunteering can allow you to build your sense of community and network
Volunteering will allow you to meet many new people from many different walks of life. It can also introduce you to people with similar interests as you, which can help you feel a sense of community and belonging. Moving to Canada can be an isolating experience and volunteering can help with this.
Things to consider
Before volunteering, some considerations should be made to ensure you make the best decision for yourself:
Decide how much time you have to offer. Whether it is a few hours or a week, or weekends, or a few times a month. Regardless, you should start by determining the amount of time you can dedicate.
Consider your skillset and what services you can offer to organizations.
Figure out what your interests are and what type of volunteer opportunities align with them.
By considering these important aspects, you find the volunteer position that allows you to give back in the best way that you can.
What kind of volunteer are you?
If you’re unsure about what type of volunteer work would be interesting to you, there are quizzes you can take that can help give you a better idea. Reward Volunteers, a website that offers you rewards in exchange for the amount of time you’ve spent volunteering, offers a free short quiz that can help you figure out what direction to go towards when trying to start volunteering. The results from this quiz can help you refine your volunteer search and find an opportunity that you will enjoy.
How can I find somewhere to volunteer?
The best way to find a volunteer opportunity is by using the internet. By using Google or one of the search engines listed below, you can find an opportunity that aligns with your interests and the amount of time you have available. Don’t be afraid to reach out by email or phone to organizations or companies that you’re interested in volunteering with. You can also ask your local community centers and community organizations for opportunities. If you are a student, you can also find volunteer opportunities by contacting your school board or guidance counsellor.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re feeling inspired and motivated to start volunteering and making a positive change in your community. Here are some resources that can help you get started:
1) Charity Village is a career and volunteer resource that has many different volunteer and job opportunities. Charity Village offers an efficient search engine that can help you find different paid and non-paid opportunities across Canada. Their search engine allows you to filter your results with many different categories such as field type, organization focus, career level, duration, and target group.
2) Indeed is a popular international job search engine, but what many people do not know is that you can find volunteer opportunities as well. Next time you visit the website, be sure to type “volunteer” in the search bar with your location to find different opportunities available to you.
3) Goodwork is a job and volunteer search engine that you can use to find environmental-related opportunities. Goodwork’s focus is environmental change and working towards a greener and more sustainable world. If this aligns with your passion, this would be a great place to look for potential opportunities.
4) Volunteer Canada is a charity that is dedicated to promoting volunteerism across Canada. They offer resources and opportunities available in numerous provinces that can help you get started in making positive changes in your community today. If you’re not exactly sure what type of volunteer work interests you, Volunteer Canada is a great place to start, because they offer more general opportunities.