In the 1990’s Friends was a hugely popular TV-series where 6 friends shared their, often hilarious,
daily lives with us. In one episode, Phoebé, the blonde hippie airhead tried to convince herself (and
us) that you can give selflessly. Joey told her that it doesn’t matter what you give, it makes you feel
good, thus by giving, you receive – and therefore there is no selfless good deed. At the end of the
episode: A Selfless Good Deed, her words are: Dammit!
And that sums up one of the main reasons volunteering is such a good thing to do. Dammit, it feels
good! Whether you volunteer at your local soup kitchen, you give some of your time to any of your
local community organisations or travel halfway across the planet, you will find something good
coming out of it.
Some reasons why you should consider volunteering:
You can directly or indirectly influence a person’s life
– You can help the environment
– Help those that cannot speak for themselves and those less fortunate
– You become part of a team
– You will feel valued
– You can spend quality time and at the same time gain confidence and self-esteem
– Gain new skills, knowledge and experience and it may look good on your resumé
– Develop your current skills and knowledge and improve your future employment
– Meet new people, make new friends and experience different cultures or get to know your
– Gain an accreditation
– Using your knowledge and professional skills to upskill someone else.
Recent studies shows that, by volunteering, you improve your health. It helps build the community
and your social network (no! Not social media network, actual face to face) when you connect with
the people you are helping. Studies further show that 1 in 10 adults in America and the UK say they
don’t have any close friends. How sad! What is the easiest way to counterbalance this loneliness?
Volunteer, of course! Volunteering increases socializing, it builds bonds and creates friendships.
Helping others makes us happier. Did you know that the feeling we get when we volunteer, can also
improve mental health and relieve some aches and pains too. The increased sense of purpose one
gets when volunteering, can help relieve depression, low self-esteem, OCD and Post-Traumatic
Disorder. The feeling of connecting with others and that your life has meaning by helping, decreases
symptoms and even improves your social function.
By volunteering, you will increase your lifespan, you will have less diseases and enjoy overall better
health. You may lower your risk of dementia and studies from the Journal of Gerontology indicated
that social service improves your brains elasticity. The act of getting out of the house, interacting
with others and the physical movement will help you age gracefully, happier and more content.
Being a volunteer may also lower your risk for heart disease!!
If all these benefits are not enough to compel you to become a volunteer, think of it in a different
way: a lot of these organisations need you to help them with delivering food, sending e-mails,
collecting clothes, sorting those same clothes in their shops, help school kids in rural communities
with their schoolwork, help the animals – if you didn’t volunteer, they would have to employ
someone and that would cost money which most of these organisation never have enough of.
Come on!! Go now and sign up! If everything I just told you doesn’t help you make up your mind
about volunteering, I have one thing to say to you:
Dammit! It feels good!!