The Big Question: Should you volunteer or should you not?

Volunteering has always been a widely acknowledged concept in most countries. In others, however, it is a strange notion that, though spreading quickly, is still foreign to many. So if you come from an area where volunteers seem to be hardly found and efforts are rarely appreciated, this article is for you! Feel free to share it with whom you know might be interested, and it will hopefully raise awareness on the need for such activity.

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.

H. Jackson Brown Jr

Why should you volunteer?

There are several answers to this question, either through philosophical notions or real concrete examples.  If one tries to list all the reasons volunteering is beneficial on so many levels, this article might exceed a reasonable amount of pages, and we do not want to overwhelm you. So, instead, we will give you two main reasons, and it is up to you to find the rest!

1. Building stronger communities:

It is truly fascinating how in the presence of others, we find strength. Whether you come from a big city, a small village, a tribe or even alone in an unknown island somewhere in the middle of the ocean, you must have felt the unique solid strength when others come together. Whether you live in a Kingdom, a Confederation, a Republic, or a Monarchy, you must have known the power of the people when wanting to unite. That is why volunteering is beneficial for the community because you simply grow a sense of belonging and commitment to giving back. Human beings like solidarity by nature, though in some circumstances, they do deviate from the norms. Thus, by helping one another and taking part in activities that lead to the common good, the volunteer would listen to others, know what the needs are and feel a sense of empathy. By feeling that they are somewhat needed, relationships grow stronger and communities thrive because a group thrives within and not the other way around. Volunteering leads to building stronger communities that rely on their individuals for development, representation and solidarity.

2. Creating a solid network:

So, let us imagine this scenario: There has been a hurricane that hit your city badly and most people lost their homes. Funding and materials are available to build new homes, but workers are lacking as they got hurt themselves. What would happen to those who are left homeless? This can go two ways:  either community volunteers suggest working on at least constructing shelters with whatever they can use, or they simply wait for governmental help. In such life-changing circumstances, it is almost certain that few will jump to help. It can take days and it can be tiring, but the reward, at last, will be more than just providing a roof for those indeed, you will have built a network of friends and professionals. It certainly goes back to the first point of building a stronger community, and within that, you get to know people and to network. Connecting with different individuals is a greatly underestimated advantage that people nowadays tend to leave out. Having a network that knows you well is like having several recommenders for different fields or life-long friends who know so much about so much. It does not fade and it rarely goes away, because you can keep nourishing that network with guess what? Volunteering as a group!

Do you see why you should volunteer?

It does not only improve the quality of life inside your small community or somewhere far away, it also benefits you! And as much as we think of ourselves being completely generous, we do think about our own benefit every day, because that is human nature. Volunteer because you want to give back, because you want to make someone smile, because you want to meet new people and because it gives you a sense of satisfaction. But also do volunteer because you need credit and because it can look good on your résumé. Whatever the reason is, do volunteer! At some point through all that, you will reach one conclusion: Whether you did it to look good or because you were truly meaning to help, you made a difference in someone’s life somewhere in the world, and at some point, it will make a difference in your life as well.

IVolunteer International is a Gold Seal nonprofit organization on Guidestar. Operating from Savannah, Georgia, IVolunteer International connects volunteers to volunteer projects around the world. Since 2017, IVolunteer has connected over 3,000 volunteers worldwide. In 2019, World Trade Center Savannah selected IVolunteer International as finalists of the Peace Through Trade Competition. In 2020, IVolunteer International will develop and launch a geo-connecting mobile application which will be available to volunteers around the world. 

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