By: Blakely Greenwell
More than one million people in Indiana volunteer and spend over 181 million hours doing good for other people according to Volunteering in America. Sure, volunteering is an essential step in improving the lives of those in need, but if a volunteer is doing it for the right reasons they will benefit from the experience as well.
Volunteer work can be done almost anywhere. Religious volunteer work takes first place, with 40.1% of people donating their time to the cause, followed by educational volunteering with 23.7%. Think about the volunteer work done at these places, it can easily be taken two ways.
Some people volunteer because they have to be at the event, or they just want to look good to others. These are volunteers who are out front and center where everyone can see them, but who don’t get too involved so they won’t be sucked into doing the real work. Every bit of help cannot hurt, but they aren’t benefitting, in fact, they might even be miserable.
The other volunteer is the person who finds a cause they are truly passionate about. In this case, the volunteer loves spending time dedicating themselves to the work, instead of thinking of escape plans. Not only will this person be helping others, they will have a positive attitude and open mind that will attract new friends and experiences that make them a well rounded person.
Take a soup kitchen for example. This volunteer oppurtunity is a prime spot for students who need the hours to get in National Honor Society, or any club. Sure, these are critical and completely valid reasons to volunteer, but if student is there because they want to make an impact on a family by feeding their hungry children, they are going to have a much better expierence at the soup kitchen. Long hours of doing completely for the benefit for someone else can be annoying and awful if you are only there because someone forced you. Instead, find something you want to make a difference in.
Volunteering is done to help others or situations in need, but when done because you are truly passionate about it, instead of how good it makes you look to others, it becomes something people do for themselves too.