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5 Things No One Told You About Volunteering



Volunteering with a local nonprofit or charity is a great way to give back and make a positive difference in your community. From organizational behind-the-scenes activities and community-facing responsibilities such as serving food at a soup kitchen, to helping to run an event or even becoming a nonprofit board member, there is an endless number of ways that you can get involved and make an impact for a cause that you care about. 

Although it can be a challenge to find time in your hectic life to volunteer, organizations are typically flexible about how and when you donate your time, so you can fit volunteering in whenever your busy schedule permits it. Finding a nonprofit that you feel passionate about will not only help others, but will enhance your life, as well. Here are five things that may surprise you about volunteering. 

1.  You don’t need to have a specific skill set to volunteer

You may think that you need to have some particular know-how or experience under your belt to be an invaluable volunteer for an organization, but the truth is that most volunteer programs do not require a specific skill set. No matter what your background is, chances are good that the nonprofit you’re interested in would love to have your help. Your talent may be having great facility with people, or perhaps you’re wonderful at organizing things or using your social media know-how to publicize events. Whatever you’re interested in doing, there’s a place out there where you’ll be a great fit.

2.  You can volunteer as a group 

Have you ever considered getting the company you work at involved in corporate philanthropy? Many nonprofit organizations offer options to volunteer as a group through corporate partnerships. A few ways that your company can give back is through grants and other financial support, donations of products and services, volunteerism, and employee-matching gifts. 

3.  Volunteering can boost your resume 

Whether you’re still in school, just starting your career, or simply looking to add new relevant work experience to your resume, volunteering can help you practice important skills—such as teamwork, effective communication, and problem solving—gain career experience, and bolster your resume. Your volunteering job can grab the attention of employers, as regularly volunteering shows potential employers that you’re reliable, thoughtful, and care about giving back. Volunteering can also help you to build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit your community. So not only can volunteer work offer your life a new sense of fun and fulfillment, but it may also help to advance your career in the long run.   

4.  Volunteering expands your network

Not only will volunteer work offer you the opportunity to make new acquaintances that just may become long-lasting friends, but it’ll also give you the chance to increase your social skills in an unfamiliar setting. If you’re volunteering with others you know, by committing to a shared activity together, it can also strengthen your existing relationships.  

5.  Volunteering counteracts depression and increases confidence

When you decide to take on a volunteer job, you may be focusing solely on the idea that you’ll be helping others, but the truth is that volunteering often enhances the lives of the volunteers themselves. One wonderful benefit of volunteer work is that it will likely give you a renewed sense of purpose and accomplishment. And not only can it keep you mentally stimulated, but volunteering also often helps people stay healthy physically, as studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not.

Feeding Westchester offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, from donating, to corporate support, to food drive options. To learn more about the ways that you can help us achieve our goal of ending hunger in Westchester County, visit our volunteer page.

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