Most people don’t like to volunteer and statistics show that volunteerism is low everywhere. While it is hard to get people to volunteer but as a club we still spend a lot of time and energy to promote it. Why do we still promote volunteerism when it clearly doesn’t sell? Why is FUN Mothers Club still the only parenting club in the Tri-City to keep pushing volunteering and in person social interactions instead of just being like one of many other groups on Facebook?
Mothers often lose themselves in parenting. Being a mother can be all-consuming, demanding all around the clock, and draining. Upon becoming pregnant, many moms are more focused on preparing for the new baby that she seldom considers how to this transition impacts our personal growth. Sometimes we lose our identity in the pursuit of being a good mother and forget to be kind and take care of ourselves as a whole person.
There are many things moms can do to make ourselves happier, like making new friends, exercise, eat well, sleep well, and make time for ourselves. So how is volunteering important? Volunteering is a lot like exercise - it is good for you and an important ingredient to a healthy and happy life. Just like regular exercise, we hear the usual reasons that people don’t volunteer - they don’t have the time. The truth is, if you truly understand and realize the benefits, you would prioritize it and make the time!
Volunteering helps you to make new friends and grow your social network.
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet people who affirm you and inspire you as well. Also, by participating in your community, it helps you to feel you belong in the community and to stay informed of what is going on.
Volunteering helps you to develop new skills or further develop skills you already have.
Just because a volunteer position is unpaid does not mean that it is basic. Volunteering can help to build your resume. Many large corporate organization has a department dedicated to philanthropic work, and volunteer experience demonstrates interest in community and good citizenship. However, among the most valuable assets a volunteer bring is an open mind, a willingness to do what is needed, and a positive attitude. The only thing worse than not volunteering is being a resentful volunteer.
Volunteering provides a great example of empowerment for your children.
Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how to look beyond themselves and understand the role they can play in their community. Kids can learn how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help others and enact change. It’s also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities for your children and family.
Helping others kindles happiness, as many scientific studies have demonstrated.
Volunteering has been proven to keep you from being socially isolated, build self-esteem, help you to focus on something other than your day-to-day, distracts your mind from negative thoughts, alleviate stress, and helps to combat depression. Volunteering has even been proven to improve cardiovascular health. Acting on your values and doing good for your community helps you to be happier and more confident. While social anxiety can often be a deterrent to volunteering, volunteering is actually a great way to help develop prosocial skills and build mental health.
What we do with our free time is a critical part of our personal development and growth, and when we don’t invest in ourselves, everything around us eventually suffers.
Ask yourself: Do I want to:
…do something I’m good at
…make it better around where I live
…meet people who are different from me
…try something new
…do something with my spare time
…see a different way of life and new places
…have a go at the type of work I might want to do as a full-time job
…do more with my interests and hobbies