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It’s National Volunteer Month! 5 Reasons to Sign Up

It’s National Volunteer Month! 5 Reasons to Sign Up

Did you know that April is National Volunteer month? †According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 62.6 million people volunteered at least once between September 2012 and September 2013, which was the lowest rate since 2002. Many people say they are too busy to volunteer. Or, they can’t find something they want to do, or don’t realize just how many opportunities are out there.

Why volunteer? Aside from the very obvious reason of helping others or some cause, there are many benefits that you get from volunteering. I have been an active community volunteer for a long time and feel that I’ve gotten back so much more than I have given. Here are just some of the benefits I have received from volunteering.

You make friends with people who share the same interests. When you volunteer or work with someone who supports the same cause, or has the same passion for something as you do, you develop a stronger connection to them.

It is good for your emotional health. Not only does helping others or working to make things better make you feel good, volunteering gives you a sense of purpose which can make you feel better about yourself and more positive about your life.

You can keep your skills sharp by using them in a productive and important way. Volunteering provides more opportunities to use your skills for something you really believe in without the risk of losing your job. It gives you the chance to see if it’s an organization or a field you might want to pursue professionally.

You can learn something new. Whether new skills, or learning what an organization does, you never know what you might learn from volunteering. Many volunteer positions provide extensive training and can lead to a new hobby or interest, or even a new career. For example, you might learn all about art or local history while volunteering as a museum or historical society docent. If you are tired of your desk job, you can get your outdoor fix while planting a community garden or volunteering at a local botanic garden, and you might even find yourself a new horticultural career.

You can connect with your community. If you are feeling lonely, or want to know your community better, volunteering is a great opportunity. You also get to know other community organizations and how they all fit together.

I’d love to hear what volunteering has done for you, so please share your experiences in the comments section.

If you don’t already volunteer and you’d like to make a difference, check out Volunteer Match to find an organization your own community.

Read more: Community, Community Service, Do Good, Life, Make a Difference, Mental Wellness,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

42 comments

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11:36AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

I keep looking but they keep saying, "No."

3:36AM PDT on May 10, 2014

I became a CASA (Court appointed special advocate) 9 months ago. I am a teacher and I love working with children so it was the perfect fit! I work with a foster girl one on one. My husband owns his own marketing business and he became a CASA 6 months ago.
It is such a gift for both of us! And my 3 kids are learning so much from the whole experience!

7:05AM PDT on May 9, 2014

Thank you!

7:16AM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

I volunteer at the hospital for 4 hours every sunday. I used to volunteer more different places and event. I wish I could volunteer more for animals but living in Phoenix suburbs is hard to find animal shelters that has flexible hours for my busy schedule.

6:12AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

1:54AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

thank you for sharing

3:30AM PDT on Apr 17, 2014

Love shared is doubled

3:18AM PDT on Apr 17, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

8:53PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

6:17PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

ty

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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