Susan’s Column

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Telephone: 305-807-3370

by Susan Koslovsky

March 8, 2015

People volunteer for a number of different reasons, ranging from a desire to learn new skills, have fun or passionate to make a difference. Some are completely devoted to the cause, while others simply wish to do their bit where they can. Those who volunteer in their community have a personal attachment to the area and want to make it a better place for themselves and for others. People who have themselves struggled with social issues usually have certain empathy for those in a similar situation and will often wish to help. Many who volunteer think that they are very fortunate to live the way they do and want to give something back to society, as a way of balancing the scales. Many others choose to volunteer because of the personal benefits that volunteering has on their character. Indeed, volunteers often say that the experience has made them a better person. In most cases, volunteers also become more concerned and aware of the problems facing the world and many feel that they were ignorant or narrow minded before. A huge part of the personal growth of a volunteer is becoming more compassionate. People who have volunteered in the past often become emotionally involved and are more likely to volunteer again in the future, either on the same project or on a new one. Many people choose to volunteer simply for the pride that comes from completing something. Individuals often find lifelong friendships through volunteer work. Volunteer work is a great way to gain experience in a broad range of fields. You can gain experience in education, journalism, social work, animal care, health care, marketing, politics, web design… the opportunities are endless. Volunteering is a great way to put in a little of your time and gain some valuable skills, whether professional or practical. Volunteers have the possibility of becoming volunteer coordinators. Similar to interns, volunteers can try out a field to see if it suits them and show that they are dedicated, enough to work for free in the hopes that it may lead to a paying job. Do not assume that anyone would volunteer, despite all the benefits, if the work was intolerable and they did not have any fun. Volunteer work can be hard, strenuous, dirty and frustrating but it is also usually great fun and extremely rewarding. It will send you spiraling from all mixed emotions but the fact is – you would not do it if it weren’t worth it. Volunteering is a truly unique experience. Where else can you give so little to receive so much back? In today’s busy, busy world many people do not think they have the time to volunteer. What many do not realize is the short amount of time that you can volunteer will be looked upon as the most valuable activity you will ever participate in. Pick a cause, pick a place, and get started. You will be hooked for life. I promise.