Take Stock in Children is built on a foundation of volunteer mentors, so we all know volunteerism can change a life, check out all of these other reasons to consider engaging in community service!
See the world:Some of the poorest countries that are the most in need of help also happen to be some of the most breathtaking places in the world. The mountains of Nepal, the lush jungles of Costa Rica, the wide expanses of Kenya are just a few of the lush vistas available to you.
Volunteers are needed in this economy:A recession hits charitable groups doubly hard, as people need more help but volunteers have less time and resources to give. Although the numbers are beginning to come back up, the recession is far from over, unemployment remains high, and the need for workers lingers.
Help your resume:The job market being what it is, volunteer experience can make great material for improving a resume and helping yourself stand out. More employers are saying they're interested in employees with volunteer experience. And who knows? You might land a job with the nonprofit you volunteer with!
Find your calling:High school and college grads who aren't sure what they want to do with their lives are often advised to take an internship somewhere to get a feel for life in a certain line of work. Volunteering can serve the same purpose. You may find your passion is helping people.
Build lifelong friendships:Serving alongside people has a way of forming special bonds that can last for years. Especially if your volunteering takes you to a third world country, the newness and uncertainty of the environment encourages you to find similarity with your fellow volunteers, which builds a basis for friendships that can last a lifetime.
Gain valuable experience:There are so many different ways to volunteer, the skills that can be learned in the process are countless. Whether you volunteer as a firefighter or a camp counselor, you'll gain valuable knowledge about the world and about yourself that can be applied anywhere.
It's a great way to make contacts:You never know whom you'll run into when volunteering. The connections you make with fellow volunteers could prove invaluable when you return to the search for a job. It's just one more reason it pays to be nice to everyone.
It can change your outlook on life:Volunteering is probably the best way to break yourself out of your comfort zone and show you what life is like for many people. Doing so can change your views on a number of important social issues, like welfare, public health care, education, and more.
Learn about your community:In an era of customizable and portable technology, it's easy to create a little bubble for yourself, iPod blaring in your ears while you surf Facebook on your phone. Whether you recognize it or not, you're part of a community, and volunteering requires you to unplug and connect with those around you.
Have your student loan forgiven:For certain federal student loans, the government will agree to cancel all or a part of the loan in exchange for the student performing volunteer work. The work must be done with approved groups like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, or Volunteers in Service to America.
Learn a foreign language:Anyone who has tried to pick up a second language will tell you there's no quicker way to become fluent than by immersing yourself in a culture where that language, and nothing but that language, is spoken. Volunteering abroad is the perfect time to learn a foreign tongue.
Get motivated:Maybe you just haven't felt motivated to get to work now that college is over. Since objects in motion tend to stay in motion, getting off the couch and volunteering is a good way to build some momentum that can carry you into your working career.
Find inspiration:Say you're volunteering by digging a well in Africa and the brilliant idea for well construction hits you. There's no telling what kind of inspiration you can get while giving your time. Or maybe the inspiration you get will just be a better appreciation for wildlife, people, or America.
It's the right thing to do:It's simply the right thing to do!