Volunteer to Grow
3 Benefits of Volunteering
Written by Melody Mayes
[blockquote author=”Jim Valvano”]A person does not become whole until he or she becomes a part of something bigger than himself or herself. [/blockquote]
Ten years as a Volunteer Manager, along with spending time volunteering abroad and locally, has shown me how much volunteers are needed and appreciated. Volunteering is clearly beneficial for the organization in which you provide your time, but it is also beneficial for the person donating their time.
3 Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteerism and community involvement are an integral part to growth in a person. A great way to find a volunteering or personal development opportunity is to follow your passion. If you aren’t sure what you are passionate about when it comes to volunteerism seek out short term opportunities through various non-profits or use connection opportunities through United Way or VolunteerMatch.org. After the mentorship program with 502PY, my interest and involvement has grown even more.
The Community Grows
When you volunteer for a community, that community becomes stronger, more empowered, and healthier. The Independent Sector organization set a rate in 2012 for volunteers that their value is $22.14/hour for a typical volunteer. Not only are you saving an agency money, but you are having a large return on investment within your own life.
Ask any volunteer what they get out of volunteering and they most likely will say it’s the good feeling they get for helping others. Experiencing a service opportunity in South Africa stretched me personally very far out of my comfort zone by holding a baby in an orphanage, digging gardens, and organizing a school library. The largest emotional impact of that specific volunteer opportunity happened in a platinum mine in the city of Marikina. The city had seen great conflict and tragedy through violence. The homes where we visited were home to sometimes six adults and two children with only one room for all activities. The experience opened my heart so far that it has yet to fully comprehend that experience.
No matter where you feel called to volunteer, whether it is through your church, the YMCA, a youth sports team, or periodic events, the give and take of volunteering is worth investing time in. If you have any interest in volunteering with 502 Power Yoga there are opportunities such as Energy Exchange, Assisting, and Karma classes that provide donations to non-profits in town, accessible yoga to those that may not be able to afford it otherwise, and community outreach throughout the city. Talk to someone that is in the Energy Exchange program or an Assistant to learn what they do and what they enjoy about that opportunity. It very well may be an opportunity you can pursue!
You have such a big heart, Melody! I am very inspired by your message to grow. As Baron Baptiste says, “Growth is everything.” Thank you for sharing and continuing to show up in big ways.