LEVERAGING ON VOLUNTEERING
By Suzi Omozusi Okpere
Volunteering Is any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone, individuals or groups or ORGANIZATION .
Central to this definition is the fact that volunteering must be a choice freely made by the individual. This can include formal activity undertaken through public, private and voluntary organizations as well as informal community participation.
VOLUNTEERING IS NOT….
A COMPULSORY OR MANDATORY ACTION.
REASONS WHY PEOPLE VOLUNTEER:
- Help the community and others. Helping others usually comes to mind first when people think of volunteers. But as you see when you read deeper in this list, their motives aren’t always this simple.
- Increase self-esteem. Volunteering makes people feel better about themselves. Giving a few hours a week, or even a month, to an organization creates good feelings.
- Make new friends. Volunteering is usually a social activity. People use this opportunity to meet interesting people who share their interests and values.
- Try out a job. People considering a job in the nonprofit sector often discover that volunteering is a good way to get a peek at what happens on the inside.
- Polish their resumes. Adding volunteer experience to a resume shows a commitment to helping others or to working in a particular field.
- Develop new skills. A volunteer job often gives people an opportunity to learn how to do something they didn’t know how to do.
“WHAT EVER YOUR NOBLE REASON FOR VOLUNTEERING,THE MOST IMPORTANT AND PRIMARY REASON SHOULD BE BECAUSE YOU “WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE”.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE MOST OUT OF VOLUNTEERING?
- Choose to invest your time or talent in an organization with a mission you can believe in. Then, determine how much time you’re willing to spend on the project. Can you make a daily commitment? Weekly? Is once a month a more reasonable goal for you? When your personal priorities jive with the mission and vision of the organization you’re serving, everybody wins.
- Promote the organization. When you’re excited about all the great things your favorite charity is doing, you inspire others to jump on board. This builds momentum and can be a catalyst for sparking meaningful discussions about important social issues.
- Invest in relationships. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. Find a mentor that can guide you in the ways of the organization. Someone who has been volunteering for awhile will be able to pass on key values, warn of possible pitfalls, and encourage growth. In addition, find someone that you can mentor. Intentional apprenticing assures continuity as the vision gets passed from generation to generation.
- Consider working with a team. In a team, you can accomplish more than you can working on your own. Volunteering with a group can start you on a positive path for life. New challenges seem less scary, and working together is always more fun than sitting around doing nothing by yourself!
- Document your experience. In addition to connecting people, stories engage emotions and motivate people to change their behavior. Stories pave the way for others to join the journey, while helping us make sense of our own. Celebrate successes through the sharing of your stories.
DOS AND DON’TS
- DON’T CREATE A BAD IMPRESSION AS A VOLUNTEER.
- DON’T LIE ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A VOLUNTEER.
- DON’T BE ARROGANT OR THINK YOU KNOW OR DESERVE MORE THAN YOUR SUPERIORS.
- DON’T THINK ANYONE OWE’S YOU A JOB OR FAVOUR.
- DON’T BE MONEY CONSCIOUS.
- ALWAYS STRIVE TO LEAVE A LASTING IMPRESSION.
- ALWAYS BE HUMBLE.
- ALWAYS SEEK TO GIVE AND NOT TO GET.
- ALWAYS BE CONFIDENT AND PROUD OF THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A VOLUNTEER.
- ALWAYS SEE IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill