Sharing Your Time and Money
Volunteering is part of the Australian culture. For some reason, we just love to ‘gift our time!’ Think about it: we all recognise our lifesavers at the beach, the SES, the rural Firies, but what about the others not so ‘seen!’ There are volunteers welcoming visitors at the airports; guiding you around hospitals; reading to our little kids; delivering Meals on Wheels or feeding and chatting to the homeless and lonely every day in every major city.
Why Do People Volunteer?
Consider sharing your time and money with those that are less fortunate. You’ll be surprised by the benefits you receive by sharing your resources. Most of us feel we don’t have any time or money to spare, but that’s rarely the case. Just a couple of hours each week can make a meaningful difference.
Give to others and get more in return. Consider these benefits:
Enhance your community.
When you donate your time and money locally, your community is improved. Not only do strangers, friends, and family benefit, but you also benefit. Take an active part in your community and help everyone around you.
Boost your position in the community.
Your generosity in being willing to volunteer is never missed by those around you. Volunteering can help your career and overall social status. You never know whom you might meet along the way. In fact, often employers will look specifically for those who have a trait of helping their community.
Those that volunteer have fewer health issues and often live longer.
You can expect to be healthier and happier if you volunteer regularly. Several studies suggest that volunteering is more beneficial to seniors than diet and exercise are.
Helping others can be a great distraction from your own challenges.
It’s hard to think about yourself while you’re helping others. Give yourself a mental break and volunteer your time.
Feel good about yourself.
Helping others give us another reason to feel good about ourselves. Sharing your time or financial resources with others is a form of kindness. You’ll feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment by helping others.
The more you give, the more you get.
The more you help others, the more others will want to help you. It never seems to fail. When you’re generous, good things just seem to happen. You can never predict the benefits you’ll receive.
Your social circle will grow.
This is especially true when you donate your time. You’ll come into contact with others that share your desire to be altruistic. Not surprisingly, those that volunteer make more connections. You already know they’re likely to be wonderful people. Imagine spending more time with others that are motivated to be kind and helpful.
Discover that your life is better than you thought.
You may have a few challenges, but you’re likely to come across others with challenges that are far greater. Realizing how difficult life is for some people makes your own issues seem a little easier to manage. Your perspective is changed.
Gain a sense of purpose.
When you choose a volunteering opportunity, you’ll naturally choose a cause that you believe is meaningful. Spending time on meaningful activities fills you with a sense of purpose. Its a win/win for everyone.
Find an organization that resonates with your values. You’ll look forward to the time you spend there. Did you know that there is a website to register to volunteer: https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/#/ You can select the areas you are interested in and they will contact you whenever a need arises. A local group I volunteer with is Rosies, Friends on the Street. Rosies run 50+ meetups throughout Brisbane (and in other cities) each week, suppling tea and coffee, snacks, fruit, and other goods but mostly we are there for a chat. Loneliness is a huge problem for those living alone or living on the street. I volunteer just to have a chat and I get as much from the encounter as I hope the patrons do. When I go home, I feel uplifted and inspired. They are amazing people I would otherwise never get to meet.
There are many people that need help for one reason or another. When you have more than you need, it only makes sense to share some of your excess with others. You can gain a new perspective that enhances your life while uplifting others.
Help others and help yourself in the process. It’s impossible to gift your time without benefiting in some way. Volunteering doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, even one hour each week can ‘fill you up’ and enhance your self-esteem. Give it a go! It’s worth the effort!