Julian Omidi is an advocate for the health and wellbeing of people and animals. In today’s blog, Julian discusses the advantages of volunteering.
So often, we focus on the beneficial results of volunteering, which makes perfect sense. Giving ourselves to a worthwhile cause helps others in so many ways. But, have you ever considered what volunteering does for you, the volunteer? Here are just a few of the ways we all benefit from helping others:
- Make new friends: Committing to a shared project joins people in ways that are both personal and professional. If you are new to an area, volunteering is an easy and fun way to meet others, and get to know your community. Many a long-lasting friendship has begun through volunteer projects.
- Learn new job skills: Like any job, volunteer work can help us acquire new computer skills, learn to deal with people, teach you how to raise funds for a worthy cause, and sharpen your general office skills. Nowadays, it is common for professionals to list volunteer work on their resumes. If you raised $1,000 for your local church or community center, potential employers will take notice.
- Learn social skills: Not everyone is a natural “people person.” Volunteer stints help us learn about interacting with others in a mature, responsible way, but without the pressures of a social club or workplace. Because most of the people you meet will have common interests and values, volunteering is a perfect, no-stress way to build social confidence.
- Strengthen family ties: Many volunteer opportunities welcome family involvement. Whether it’s at a local animal shelter, a community car wash, or a youth center, there are plenty of chances for the whole family to get in on the act.
- Decrease the impact of depression: Volunteering, by its very nature, causes us to deal with others and avoid social isolation. Plus, staying in regular contact with other people is a good way to develop a support system.
- Stay healthy: Many volunteering jobs are physical and will help to keep us active. Make sure you know about this aspect before you volunteer so you’ll be ready for whatever the opportunity demands.
The next time you decide to devote yourself to a cause, whether it’s picking up trash, working on a food drive, or raising money for your church, keep in mind that you are also helping yourself in countless ways. Volunteering is a truly a two-way street!
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi, along with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi and mother Cindy Omidi, are advocates and co-founders of numerous non-profit organizations including Animal Support and Civic Duty