Why You Should Get Involved With Your Community

I think that there are certain times in your life when it is easier to get involved in your community than others; when you are a student, there are countless student groups offering you free food and goodies to join, and when you are a parent, by the nature of most activities you have a quasi-group of parents who have to attend and volunteer at the same things that you do. However, many of us don’t fall into either of those groups, and I think that that is the best time to get involved and make a difference! And yes, it benefits your community, but it also benefits you…

The Benefits of Volunteering

I know that there are many people who are going to tell me that they are too busy to get involved anywhere, and by that, they mean they don’t want to give up their “me time”. Well, the default state for most of us is “me time” and if you honestly can never give up time for anyone else, this probably isn’t the post for you.

Volunteering is a bit more tough for me with Agnes right now, because I have to be home for her, but I enjoy my volunteering advising for my sorority chapter because I get to give back to a group that means the world to me, it is quite flexible, and I’m developing my skills further. I’ve also volunteered with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the last few years, as well as three years of Rabbit Wrangling with the local humane society. While it is wonderful to know that the organisations are benefiting from my time, I have also received quite a few benefits in return for it!

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You Can Find Something to Suit Your Schedule

I have volunteered with quite a few organisations, and I have to say, most groups are so thankful to have you volunteering for them that they are usually willing to make it fit your schedule, and sometimes even have roles that can be done remotely/from home! Now, obviously you will have to be available during school hours if you want to read to children in the classroom, or during the evening to volunteer with a sports team, but if you aren’t nailed down to one particular volunteering role, you can certainly find something that works with the free time that you’ve got! Before you set out, I would think on how often you want to volunteer (weekly? monthly? for a specific event?), what you would actually like to be doing (doing the work of the group itself? promoting it? administrative work?), and how long you are willing to commit (a lot of organisations that bring on volunteers prefer a minimum commitment, typically 6-12 months, to minimise changeover).

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You Can Make New Friends

Adulthood is a vast pit for friendship; depending on where you live and what you do for a living and for hobbies, it can be quite difficult to make new friends. (For more info on making new friends, I have a post here to help 🙂 ) Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends in a new city (or in a new phase of life) without setting out to specifically make friends. If you are volunteering together, you will have one guaranteed topic in common, and you will probably get to know people naturally. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I do find that sharing in accomplishments is a good bonding factor, and it’s also wonder to achieve that goal together and then relax and celebrate afterwards!

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You Can Develop Your Talents and Skills 

I have interviewed for jobs where they will only considered paid experience when hiring you, and that is unfortunate for those companies, because you can develop countless skills through volunteering. Want to find out if you would be a good manager? Be a volunteer coordinator for a local run or a gala- you will have to manage several volunteers and supervise them over many different tasks and jobs. Trying to learn coding and social media? Offer to help out with the social media and web team for an animal rescue or small theatre group- they need to get the word about what they do out there, and it’s a smaller, manageable way to test the tech waters. You can even dip your toes into more technical and complicated roles like bookkeeping for an organisation (if they don’t require certification for those roles). It’s also usually not as rigid as a job, so you won’t necessarily have to go through months of training and jump through hoops like you would in an employed position!

Puppy with certificate from puppy schoolVolunteering at the Winnipeg Humane Society is how I became familiar with their classes!

You Can Find New Opportunities 

Volunteering with other people is a great way to find new opportunities! It might be a new job, it might be a travel buddy/buddies, a new restaurant to try, the list is endless. Something that I love about everywhere I have volunteered is that people from all walks of life like to give their time and energy to causes, and you may meet people that you would have never otherwise met. I find that networking can sometimes have a bad connotation, as we all stop and think about an awkward cocktail party with nametags and cold hors d’oeuvres and so many business cards. However, volunteering is a more natural form of networking- you are usually spending a good amount of time with people when they can actually see your skills in action, as well as get to know your personality and work ethic. This could very well come in handy if you happen to end up looking for a new job. You also might just end up chatting with someone there and finding a new pet groomer, hair stylist, doctor, or mechanic, and those are things that come in handy when you least expect it!

Where do you volunteer? What is your favourite part about volunteering?

Until tomorrow,
The Historian
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14 thoughts on “Why You Should Get Involved With Your Community

  1. Hannah June 10, 2018 / 3:03 am

    I currently volunteer at our local church, but also I do Brownies 🙂 I LOVE Brownies so much, I don’t know it’s just so rewarding really. I’m hoping to start volunteering at work soon too during the day before shifts start 🙂

    Like

    • anhistorianabouttown June 10, 2018 / 8:01 pm

      I’ve heard from tons of people that they love volunteering with Brownies- I think the Girl Scouts/Boys Scouts program is equally beneficial for the kids and the volunteers! What would you be doing at work??

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chronically Hopeful Char June 10, 2018 / 8:12 am

    A great article. There are definitely some good reasons to volunteer! I am unable to go out due to chronic illness, but I volunteer online in various support groups and have “met” some amazing people that way. There is always something we can find to do.

    Like

    • anhistorianabouttown June 10, 2018 / 7:59 pm

      I think that people forget about online volunteering, but it is SO crucial!! It can make such a difference, especially to the people that you are reaching ☺

      Like

    • anhistorianabouttown June 10, 2018 / 7:58 pm

      Aww that’s wonderful!! I find a lot of volunteering opportunities can be solo gigs, so I especially appreciate when I can actually meet and get to know people ☺

      Like

  3. josypheen June 10, 2018 / 10:26 am

    I totally agree with you. I used to really love volunteering at rainbows (I think they are called sparks in Canada – little brownies)

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    • anhistorianabouttown June 10, 2018 / 10:44 am

      They are Sparks here!! I sadly never joined because I was always at ballet but my brother in law volunteered with Scouts for years and is going to start again as soon as my nephew is old enough!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • josypheen June 10, 2018 / 10:50 am

        🙂 It is pretty exhausting to volunteer with kids, but sooo cute!

        Like

        • anhistorianabouttown June 10, 2018 / 7:57 pm

          I’m SUPER impatient, so I think I would be the worst as a permanent troup leader, but I would love to help with individual badges/skills!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. lady sarah in london June 10, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    I love the sentiment and would welcome more advise about being useful to my community and volunteering.
    Like you I am pretty time poor at the moment, I work full time and have a cat the beloved lady Beatrice. Contrary to popular belief cats do not LIKE to be alone all day. They tolerate it better than dogs but they don’t like it.
    I fund raise to make up for my luck of volunteering, but still… I would live to do more.

    Like

    • anhistorianabouttown June 10, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      Fundraising is also an important and valid way to give, and depending on the causes you support, it may be as useful as time or even more!

      I would reach out to organisations and see if they need help with any online things- I know a lot of orgs who have volunteers that answer their emails and update things on their website and even have them design marketing and promotional materials on their own time, and then just forward them when they are ready! I would also check with your workplace, and see if they would be willing to do a company philanthropy project- some offices will take a few hours a month for it, or allow you to flex your time to fit it I!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. krismadeablog June 10, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    All great reasons to volunteer. You can even add it to your resume. I work for a retail company that does all kinds of volunteer projects in the community. I actually learn a lot of stuff and it feels great to help people.

    Like

    • anhistorianabouttown June 10, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      It’s a great way to hone in on one or two specific skills and learn and develop them!! I would certainly put them in a “Skills” section on a resume ☺ I also love supporting businesses that give back- I’m finding that more and more companies are building time and monetary budgets to give back, and I would love to see it across the board ☺

      Like

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