I am slightly ashamed to admit this but for many years I was of the opinion that ‘charity starts at home’ an awful mindset which basically boils down to ‘I don’t want to help’. I can only assume that in my youth I was a little lazy and staunchly defensive of it, that all changed after I started working with AMFund, a non-profit fundraising group. I very quickly changed my ways after speaking with a member of their team and I have now been volunteering for over 3 years. Volunteering is a truly amazing thing for anyone to do and no matter if you are helping out at the local church, supporting a thrift shop or fundraising for a charity, the effects are truly wonderful.
I do not feel any shame in admitting that I like volunteering because I can help people, and I can also help myself. I feel wonderful about the work which I do, it gives me a real buzz to know that I am investing my time for the betterment of others. To volunteer should never be primarily about how it makes you feel of course, but it is a wonderful bonus and it gives you a real sense of self-pride, that you can bow to something which is bigger than yourself.
Whether it was because of my previous stance or whether it was simply because of how much I spoke about it, many of my friends and family have been inspired to start volunteering as well. This is wonderful to see and it is clearly a positive impact of volunteering, that you can inspire others to follow suit. It doesn’t matter what you volunteer for, giving up your time for others is a truly motivating thing to do which others will want to get involved with. Another group who will be inspired by this are those who the cause helps, if a child grows up watching these volunteers and understanding what they are doing, they are highly likely to do the same when they get older.
Whichever cause it is that you are working for, be it a charity, a local school or even in a prison, you are going to be helping that cause no end. Most of these groups and people in need do not have the money to hire staff and train them, so what options do they have? The options are to either get a volunteer, or have nobody. This is why your work is going to be so important, you are helping out where there may not be any help if you hadn’t been there. Think about fundraising as an example, let’s say that 10 people decided to raise funds for a charity by cold calling people in the state, do you think that they would be able to raise as much money as 100 volunteers may be able to? The answer is of course no, which is why the more volunteers that people can get, the better things will be for everyone.