Volunteering for a cause or organization that you believe in can be one of the most rewarding and fun things in life. My first volunteer “opportunity” came when an organization approached my boss looking for help. It wasn’t going to work for her to help so she asked me if I would be willing to give up a few lunch hours and join the group. I have trouble saying no, plus it sounded interesting so I agreed. The group was planning a brand new annual event involving many worthwhile organizations in the community. While I was only a small part of the event’s success, I’m proud to say that the event marked it’s 13th anniversary earlier this month.
That first opportunity has led to others. I have learned over time to only say yes to things that I can completely commit too. Like any for-profit business, a non-profit organization needs dedicated, committed people in order to succeed. It’s not fair to say yes and then let the group down.
I also encourage others to get involved and volunteer their time for something they feel passionate about. I feel this is important for several reasons –
- People who volunteer develop leadership and other skills they can use in all areas of life. Almost every non-profit organization is looking for board members and people who will serve on their leadership team. Even if a volunteer is not comfortable serving as President, he/she will develop leadership, planning, time management, and other life skills from serving.
- Community education takes place. Each time a new volunteer steps up and joins a cause they learn positive information that is shared with others in the community.
- Relationships are formed and strengthened. I’ve made good friends and met great people that I would not know otherwise.
- Giving your time makes you feel good and it’s fun! I have witnessed people having fun while they pull weeds, paint, clean windows and many other tasks that we normally dread and put off forever! Why? Because they were spending time with other people and they are helping someone.
Get involved and encourage the people around you to do the same. It can build morale and is a chance for your business to show it’s a strong community partner. My guess is that your people will have fun and benefit in many ways from a food drive, donating blood, or giving their time to causes they believe in. Does your business offer some worthwhile volunteer opportunities for your employees? Tell me about them. I’d love to hear how you give back to the community!