Support Your Local United Way
Brian Cox

By Brian Cox

4 Personal Benefits of Volunteering in Your Community

10/03/12


Nonprofit organizations depend on the giving nature of volunteers. But volunteers often reap satisfaction and benefits of volunteering by becoming involved in their communities. Not sure how volunteering can be a personal benefit to you? Here are four reasons to give a little time to a nonprofit organization every week.

1. Growth
By volunteering with an ongoing program, volunteers see growth and change. Whether working with children who are learning to read or adults who are developing trust with their peers, volunteers can actually watch growth among their clients over time. This reinforces the volunteer's own sense of worthiness and vitality in the program.

2. Enrichment
There's nothing more fulfilling than realizing how much of an impact a volunteer can make. Volunteers working together to build a children's playground or low-cost housing for needy families can later visit these sites and see how the project has enriched the neighborhood. Just a few hours of helping can turn into a lifetime of opportunity, which is one of the greatest benefits of volunteering.

3. Learning
Volunteer opportunities often allow people to try new activities or learn new skills. For example, when an accountant volunteers to help cook a holiday dinner at a homeless shelter, he walks away with not only a few cooking tips, but also knowledge of how to keep food at a safe temperature and how to serve large groups.

4. Friendships
When like-minded people get together, friendships are formed. After working on a volunteer project for a few weeks, it's not uncommon for volunteers to exchange phone numbers or social media information. By giving just a few hours a week, lifetime friendships may be established.

Ready to get involved? Check out United Way's call to action for one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors. It's a great way to get started locally and help a student succeed. Take the pledge today!

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