Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why I volunteer

I started my volunteer work again, after about two months of unemployment.

Since figuring out that my schedule is pretty much open, the place I volunteer at started asking me to take some random shifts that needed to be filled. It seems I may have a regular time to volunteer weekly now, which is awesome. I have also become an on call volunteer, which means I don't mind them asking me to come in if someone calls in sick.

I'm only doing one or two days a week, and each shift is three hours. It isn't much, but someone has told me that I'm giving enough of my time that I ought to get paid for it. Their opinion has made me think of all the reasons I volunteer.

1) It can look good on a resume
2) It's good experience that might help me in future jobs

These are the two reasons I would hand over to the doubters, but volunteering goes beyond that.

3) It gives me something to do
4) I like the people
5) I love the place
6) It's good to feel useful
7) Sometimes it feels good to give something without expecting anything (in monetary terms) back

I admit that it certainly would be awesome to get paid for what I'm doing as a volunteer. But it wouldn't be called volunteering then, would it? Also, reason #7 would disappear if they started paying me. (Not that I would refuse a job if offered one...)

Do you volunteer, or have you volunteered before? What were your reasons? Were they the same as mine, or different?


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Those are all great reasons to volunteer! I did a lot of volunteer work in my 30s and into my 40s but haven't done a lot in the past 10 years. As I age, I find that I don't have enough energy any more to work all day and then do volunteer stuff in the evenings or on weekends.

Sarita Rucker said...

I'm a youngster, and even I found it draining to try volunteering while working full time.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I've done a lot of volunteer work; from reading to sick kids and seniors to assisting people to buy groceries (giving them rides). Also, and this is my most often, translating and interpreting.

It's needed and it feels good.