The simplest definition of volunteering is “freely offering to do something”. Generally speaking, volunteering involves an individual or group that provides services for no financial or other type of gain. The goal of volunteering is to promote goodness, improve quality of life, or rally aid for tragedy or disaster. Both the person or community being served and the volunteer often experience mutual positive benefits as they support each other, develop connections, and feel a sense of purpose and togetherness. Volunteering is also a fantastic outlet for skill development and making contacts for employment.
You can often find my mother volunteering with her church from teaching a class, to helping out in a food kitchen over the holidays. While volunteering is often considered a selfish act, you do receive something in return. You receive pride, gratitude, and the feeling that you have helped someone in need.
When it comes to volunteering, I personally love to support my local community. We have a local organization called Little Smiles that helps the children in our area. Their mission is simple – to put smiles on the faces of children in various medical facilities. Their lives often consists of multiple doctor’s visits, needles, treatments and more that can dampen the mood of what should otherwise be a happy childhood. Little Smiles’ brighten the day of those children by providing toys and electronics, VIP tickets to special events, even movie and pizza nights. As I’m sure you can agree, watching a child smile is worth it! I’m also especially fond of helping the environment so when I’m able to volunteer – you’ll find me at the beach participating in a clean up.
The One Way to Help campaign is part of Tom’s of Maine’s mission to give back. They give 10 percent of all profits back to community causes across the United States. They have also initiated the 50 States for Good™ program that is meant to encourage the growth of grassroots community projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
What’s your favorite way to volunteer?