An estimated 1 billion people around the world volunteer. Some are frontline volunteers who are repeatedly called to crisis missions caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, famines, landslides and climate change, or man-made disasters such as wars.
Other volunteers work in areas of social development, each playing their part to change the world one day at a time.
The reasons why people choose to volunteer are varied, but what unites them all is that they find it challenging and rewarding.
For some, it’s a chance to give back to the community or make a difference for those around them. For others, it is an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Other reasons include: improving the lives of others, helping the environment. To feel valued as part of a team that makes an impact on people’s lives, to spend quality and productive time away from work or the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to gain confidence and build self-esteem by working for others.
Volunteering is not an endeavor to make money, but an activity born out of love to serve humanity, to lend a helping hand to people struggling to survive. Therefore, the greatest reward of volunteering is the feeling of accomplishment when an act of kindness impacts the lives of the less privileged.
To live a purposeful life as a volunteer, you must use either one of these three opportunities or all three.
- TIME: The volunteer life is one of sacrifice. To make a positive difference, you must be willing to sacrifice your valuable time for service. An example would be spending time as a counselor to help troubled youth find their way. Another example would be spending time with the elderly in a nursing home or helping operators at a homeless shelter by, for example, preparing meals for shelter residents.
- TALENT: You can use your talent to help people. A doctor who wants to volunteer must provide free screenings for at least 50 people on weekends. These people would not have otherwise received treatment for their illness, but because of the free service, they can now get the treatment they need. Talent doesn’t just mean having a medical degree, you could also have professional training and use that to host education sessions and help certain people gain skills that help them put money where their mouth is.
- TREASURE: When you use your treasure to volunteer, you are supporting organizations and institutions that need financial help to further their good work. Financial support is usually a big help to agencies that rely on the generosity of people to fully carry out their projects.
You can live a purposeful life as a volunteer if you use what you have in a way that serves your community and the world at large.
Make the decision today to volunteer in whatever capacity you can.