No doubt you have heard someone who did an act of kindness say that they got more out of it than the person they helped. It’s not just a feel-good statement intended to deflect attention away from the helper. There are concrete benefits to volunteering in your community that go well beyond the assistance to people and pets in need. When you give of your time and expertise, the rewards are rich.
Being a volunteer is a great way to become engaged in your local community and build a strong network. You will meet others who share similar interests, and have the opportunity to develop relationships with them that will be helpful outside of the volunteer setting. It’s a resume builder, and it helps you build your business.
Volunteering gives you a chance to learn new things, contributing to your growth and development on both a personal and professional level. You might learn the right way to pound a nail from Habitat for Humanity, or how to care for a rescue dog from Helping Hounds. You might also learn how to fundraise, how to plan special events and meetings, and how to build support for important projects. These are all skills that are transferable to other areas of your life.
When you volunteer for an organization, you get a chance to really spread your wings. You can try out new activities and interests, and in the process, you might discover something that really makes your heart sing.
Last but certainly not least, being a volunteer will bring you joy and happiness. It really, truly does make you feel good to be part of something that is bigger than you, something that makes life better for others and improves your community.
Now more than ever, we live in a world where acts of kindness are especially needed. If you are looking for ways to get involved, here are a few suggestions for groups that are near and dear to us, and that can use your helping hands.
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Jennifer B. Granzow
Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.