So Your Thinking about Volunteering & Not Sure where Your Focus Should be?
Homeless people are in our communities in a much bigger way than ever these days. Large cities often have designated areas where the homeless are known to congregate. Many of us don’t know what we can do but Helping the Homeless is needed and a perfect way to volunteer.
The homeless often find themselves in this position due to a crisis in their lives such as a recent job loss or divorce. Most people in the USA are only a few months away from such an event themselves & if they have no place to go when their income stops, they could become homeless as well.
Having no money can lead to car repossessions & even home foreclosures pretty quickly. Food stamps & unemployment rarely covers even a small portion of the mortgage or current bills & it is almost impossible to get a job if you have no transportation or gas to get there.
The homeless are not so different from us. They face the same challenges in a fast paced society that will not wait if we get behind. There are many reasons why homelessness occurs which can include poor financial planning, mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, court orders, wage garnishments, etc. The struggle to survive can be daunting depending on one’s circumstances & often the reason a person decides to just quit.
If you are interested in helping the homeless, visit a local shelter or food bank for ideas on what you can do. If you see the homeless on your commute to work or in a nearby neighborhood, think about how you could help them personally. Dropping off a sandwich at lunch time or offering a book can be a simple way to connect with them & hear their story. Your Focus should be to encourage them, offer hope & show them respect as a human being.
If you prefer not to interact directly, a simple act of kindness is still important & can be done in secret too. Get creative & look for opportunities that open up before you as they most certainly will. Think of yourself as a servant or angel that wants to put a blessing in someone’s life & watch excitedly as the opportunities begin to reveal themselves.
While volunteering is fun and rewarding, it also clearly benefits our local community and enables volunteers to learn new skills, stay active and make friends. Whether you are an individual (teen to retirees included), a business or a group you have talents and skills that others need.
Opportunities Range from Volunteering in a Hospital to Animal Care, Mentoring Children & Adults & Even Helping with the Environment. Volunteering can be a group effort or a personal gesture in any community. It can include going around door to door collecting donations for a good cause, planting trees, caring for an elderly neighbor, or stocking up on supplies in case a disaster comes to your town.
If You are not sure where to start, checking with local hospitals, churches, schools, animal shelters can be a good place to start. They can give ideas about something you can do or offer suggestions about who else to ask. Look for opportunities that include something you are already good at & consider other ideas for something that you would like to try a new skill too.
There has aways been a great need for volunteers to get involved in their local communities. Besides the simple act of helping someone who can truly benefit, we cannot overlook the fact that helping others brings personal benefits to, not only the receiver but the volunteer well. Check Out the video below if you are interested in getting involved to see all the reasons why volunteering is actually good for you too.
Main Benefits of Volunteering:
The main benefit of helping others is very fulfilling & feels fun. Not only does it benefit the community but it can enhance your social life and boost your self-esteem and confidence. Volunteers often mention that they have a sense of pride & accomplishment after a good day of group projects . Plus if you haven’t heard, it is now being said that volunteering may even actually have health benefits as well.
Health Benefits of Volunteering:
If you haven’t heard yet, being a volunteer may include physical benefits too. Studies are showing that among people who make an effort to help others on a regular basis may actually have less heart disease, a decrease in chronic pain and lower mortality rates.
Social Benefits of Volunteering:
But I would still say that the most important benefit of volunteer work…and the biggest reason for why anyone does it is because of the friendships that are created along the way. Getting involved causes special bonds to be formed and encourages building new relationships both among the helpers & receivers that come together as a group to get things done.
Volunteering can open you up to new ideas & new ways of doing things. It improves your outlook on life & gives you a focus and satisfaction that cannot be gotten any other way. Instead of aimlessly moving through your day, you now have a plan and something to do that is bigger than yourself.
Educational Benefits of Volunteering:
The educational benefits should also include work related benefits since these often go hand in hand. Not only does volunteer work look good on your resume but it is often required when applying to colleges. When you join volunteer groups locally, you learn new skills which are often a valuable bonus to employers who are looking to hire people with leadership experience. Taking the time to help others shows an effort towards a good work-life balance and puts you above the rest when applying for a new job. If you are trying to get hired by a good company, volunteering can go a long way to impressing the person who may quite possibly decide your future.