The most expensive and valuable gift you can give to someone, to your community, even to the world is your time because time is precious and irreplaceable. We all are giving the same amount each day and it’s up to use to use it wisely. I know we all have busy lives, not enough time in the day to get everything done so the idea of giving your time to someone or your community is nearly impossible.
Well it’s not impossible at all, no matter how busy you are, you will find at least one hour or two per day or per week to help in your community or someone in need by volunteering. It’s all about time management; we all have 168 hours a week, base on the activities of the average person: we have 17 unscheduled hours a week. So you can use some of that time to volunteer and maybe make a difference in your community and touch someone’s life.
Giving your time volunteering is not only beneficial to the recipient(s) and also to yourself. You’ll be surprised how much you will get by helping others; it can help you socially, professionally and also mentally.
Some of the benefits include:
• Strengthening your social and relationship skills,
• Making new friends,
• Expanding your support network, and strengthening your ties to the community
• Exposing you to people with common interests.
• Increasing your self-confidence, making you feel good because you are doing good for others and your community.
• Reducing the risk of depression because it keeps you in regular contact with other people, helping others take your mind off your own problems. And listening to others makes you feel grateful for your life because some people have it worse.
• Giving you a chance to learn new skills and gain experience in a new field.
• Helping you build upon skills you already have and use them to advance your career and benefit the greater community.
So now you might be wondering, where I do start? I don’t know how I can help others and make a difference? Or I am shy. Well the good news is the internet makes everything possible and we all have a special gift, we just have to dig deep, find it and put it to good use. There are virtual volunteer programs where you can help in the comfort of your home; you can do it via phone or emails. There are local volunteer programs, where you can choose how much time you spend and what you do; you can start from 35 minutes a day or week reading to kids or helping them with their homework, to one hour at the local shelter, or hours planning community events. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something. Just giving 30 minutes of your time a day or a week can make a world of difference in someone’s life.
Here is a couple of websites to help you start: http://www.volunteermatch.org/, you can search what’s available on your community and once you create your profile, they will match your skills to the best program available and you can also choose virtual programs. And also http://powertochange.com/truthmedia, is an online mentoring program, reaching thousands of people each month by encouraging them with the wisdom of the Holy Bible. They provide an online training and assign you to your own mentor just in case you need help. Some other organizations may require you to attend an initial training or assign you to your own mentor just to make sure you starting out right but always making sure that you are asking the right questions and you are getting enough social contact.