The Benefits of Volunteering in Your Community

By: Dionne M. Lackey

It feels great to volunteer and give back to the community…but did you know that doing so is also an important part of self-care?  When it comes to self-care, volunteering has several benefits. Volunteering in your community is a win-win situation. Not only do you help someone, but you also receive many benefits as well – both personal and professional.  Volunteering brings knowledge, experience and positivity to your life as you pour into others and is also good for your mind and body.  It provides many benefits to both your mental and physical health.

Here are a few benefits of volunteering and the value it can bring to your self-care:

  1. Strengthen your confidence. Because you’re helping others, you’ll feel more positive about yourself.
  2. Helping others is a wonderful thing to do. It does your heart, mind and soul good to reach out to help others.
  3. Gain work experience. Depending on the type of community work you do, you could learn something that will help you in your current job or future work.  The skills obtained can be added to your resume.
  4. Make new business contacts. Getting out and giving back to your community will help you meet more people. Because each person has a network of their own, you never know how far your positive influence could travel – bringing you new prospects, clients, or even job offers.
  5. Make new friends. Because you’ll encounter so many new people, you could meet people that you become friends with and expand your circle of like minded people.
  6. Brings fun and fulfillment to your life – it’s a great way to explore interests or find new ones and can provide a sense of renewed creativity, motivation and vision that can enhance both your personal and professional life.
  7. Strengthen your community. Volunteering contributes to your community by uplifting others in the community.
  8. Know that you make a positive difference. Volunteering makes a difference to you, to the agency you volunteer for, and to your community.
  9. We don’t operate in a vacuum. Living your best life involves making and maintaining connections with others. Giving back to your community develops a network of resources you’ll be able to access when you need them.
  10. Volunteering is a real-life experience that can’t be had in the classroom. Some college instructors recommend “service learning” which is another term for “volunteering” or “giving back to your community.” Service learning provides a real-world experience to students that would be impossible to learn in the classroom.

As you can see, being a part of something bigger than yourself is rewarding and can serve as a reminder of the impact you can make on others, while also discovering the impact others can make on YOU.  Therefore, be intentional about your self-care and service to your community by volunteering. Tune in to the world around you, see life happening and take action where you can make a difference. You’ll be inspired!

Dionne M. Lackey, CLSC, LMT is the founder of Wholistic Insight Now, LLC, focusing on self-care and wellness solutions with a commitment to healing, educating and empowering.  Her mantra: We are here to serve.

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