Benefits of Volunteering

YMCA of the Fox Cities is dedicated to social responsibility

Passion is a strong motivator for someone who wants to volunteer, and is the driving force that connects individuals with organizations they believe in.

Volunteering is an unselfish activity where an individual or group of people provide service for no financial gain. Volunteering can also be an opportunity to develop a skill or improve one’s quality of life. Yet, what truly motivates someone to volunteer? Why do people give their time, money and talent to get involved?

Some people volunteer because it meets a personal need. This could mean completing community service, or their company has an expectation of their employees to give back through volunteering, or even as a way to meet other people, expand their resources or utilize networks for personal or professional gain. Volunteering also provides a social opportunity and the chance to meet new friends. In any of these situations, the organization receiving the volunteers benefits by the utilization of free services and advice when needed.

The strongest form of volunteering comes when someone has a personal belief and passion for a cause. Passion is a strong motivator for someone who wants to volunteer, and is the driving force that connects individuals with organizations they believe in. Often times, people are willing to sacrifice more to give back when they are enthusiastic about what they are doing. When someone becomes truly passionate about a cause, this is when an organization has truly connected with someone on the strongest, personal level and gains the most from their volunteer.

It’s too easy to say that you don’t have time to volunteer, or it’s really not your thing! There are hundreds of organizations, in every community, that could use help to improve lives and make a difference. From simple, one-time opportunities to more complicated, skill-based activities, everyone has something to share that can make a significant impact. Ask yourself this, “If I could get paid to do anything in the world, what would I want to do?” This doesn’t have to be a job, it can be a hobby that you enjoy doing. When you have the answer to that question, you can begin connecting yourself with volunteer opportunities. If you love to run, you could consider volunteering at a race event. If you enjoy traveling, this could be your opportunity to look into Mission work. Volunteer opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, just like people and the passions they encompass.

If you want to get involved but don’t know where to start, consider what non-profit organizations or groups in your community connect with your skills and passions. A simple search on Google can help you get started. For example, I love to sew and quilt so I searched online “volunteer sewing in Appleton, WI.” I immediately found a number of opportunities where I could get involved through existing projects and groups who sew quilts, blankets, aprons, pillowcases, doll clothes and so much more for charitable causes and non-profit organizations. I had no idea how easy it was to find opportunities in our area.

The YMCA of the Fox Cities is a great place to begin your search. Their Togetherhood® Program gives people the opportunity to participate in meaningful community service projects that benefit people and organizations right here in our
neighborhood. Togetherhood is not about the Y, but rather serves as a conduit to projects that improve the community. Members, and the passions they have, are what drive various service projects. This is a way for you to start small as you navigate the waters of volunteerism.

There is no better time to start your search than now. Grab a friend, find your passion and commit to a cause. Just think what an incredible difference you can make in your community and the positive and lasting effect it will have on you.