Most people volunteer because they want to help others. One thing that surprises many new volunteers is that, though there isn't a salary involved, there are personal benefits for volunteering.
Improve Your Health, Life-Span, and Outlook
According to the The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteering can help the volunteers themselves lead a longer, healthier life regardless of their age, gender, or health history.
The review also states that volunteering improves an individual's outlook by giving that person a sense of purpose and an increased sense of self-worth. While this effect is seen in people of all ages, the improvement in outlook is often greatest in older volunteers.
Learn New Skills and Build Your Resume
There are literally thousands of volunteer activities nationwide in which you can participate through United Way.
As a volunteer, you may need to brush up on your social skills to help you to communicate and work well with others. You might receive training for new skills, such as helping others to apply for a social security card or complete income taxes.
If you volunteer to help students, you might pick up some educational experience as a tutor, mentor, or reader. Or if you volunteer to spruce up a school, you may gain gardening or painting experience - a great way to learn how to fix up your own living space.
These new skills and experiences can help you grow as a person. You may also become more attractive to future employers when you list volunteer experience on your resume.
Expand Your Social Circle and Make Lasting Friendships
There is an old saying that you can never have enough friends. One of the top personal benefits for volunteering is that it provides participants with an opportunity to meet others with similar interests. It's only natural to strike up a conversation with those you are working with. This can be the start of lasting friendships.
Of course, there are more personal benefits for volunteering than just these three. If you are ready to make a difference, take action and get involved. Take the pledge, search for a volunteer opportunity, or let others know about your experiences as a volunteer. You may not earn a paycheck as a volunteer, but improving your health, making friends, and learning new skills are priceless personal benefits for volunteering.