The Simpsonian

Our View: Top reasons why you should start volunteering

by The Simpsonian Editorial Board

The total percentage of volunteers has been steadily decreasing from 26.8 percent in 2011 to 24.9 percent in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What this article doesn’t tell us is the why. Some theories are that economic stress, government funding and even the amount of single-parent households.

Volunteering isn’t something that you should put off until it’s convenient for you. In fact, there are numerous reasons why volunteering is something you should make a regular part of your life. Here are a few:

1. Volunteering create and strengthen relationships

When you’re out volunteering for something that you are passionate about, chances are you will meet many people who are passionate about the same things. You may continue to run into these people at other sites and inevitably you will form a bond with them. Nervous about heading to a new site? Ask a friend to go with you so you’re more comfortable.

2. Volunteering can allow you to make a difference

When some organizations have only a few paid staff members, they rely heavily on volunteers to help them execute their mission. In fact, many organizations wouldn’t even exist without volunteers. When you volunteer, you become a part of a bigger picture. It gives you a chance to make the world one you want to be a part of.

3. Volunteering is a resume-builder

Remember those relationships we talked about earlier? Oftentimes, you can leverage those relationships you create to find jobs or potential references. Volunteering is usually something that is outside of your “norm” and therefore allows your network to grow. Volunteering is also a great way to gain experience in an area of work you may be interested in because let’s be honest, not many people will say no to free work.

4. Volunteering is fun

Of course, when you volunteer you need to remember that you’re there to do a job, but it can also be a great time! You get to have new experiences, meet new people and get out of your comfort zone. When you combine this with the more philanthropic reasons for volunteering, how much more convincing do you really need?

Simpson College has a long history of service work on its campus. Campus day has been around for at least 150 years, the Wesley Service Scholar organization has been around for 15 and the newest service organization, Rotaract, has been around for almost five. If you want to get connected with service on campus you can check out simpson.edu/service-opportunities/ or reach out to our service coordinator, Anna Peña, at [email protected]

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