Four ways volunteering can enrich your life

Apr 7, 2016

In one year, we each have 8,760 hours to utilize. How do you spend your time? With work, activities, and family time, schedules can easily fill up. However, seasoned volunteers know devoting a little time to others can turn quickly passing days into more meaningful ones.

Here are four ways devoting more time to volunteering may enrich your life:

  1. Be part of something big. What you contribute as a volunteer has an impact. Any help makes a difference, even something as simple as organizing donated items. That’s one less task for staff members, so they can stay devoted to getting people the help they need. When you see those who need help and then join in the solution, that’s where joy and enrichment start to grow.
  2. soup kitchen volunteerMeet new people. People bring life to life. Working together for a common goal is a great way to build relationships with new people who share your interests. You never know who you’ll meet (the likes of former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Food Network star Andrew Zimmern have graced our kitchens) or what types of friendships start by serving together.
  3. Develop new skills or share yours with others. Volunteering is a wonderful, free way to gain new skills or share your talents. Look for opportunities that sound fun or create them. If you like fashion, volunteer to set up displays in one of our Salvation Army Stores. If you like writing, help tell our story. If you’re an executive, coach the unemployed on how to get hired. If you’re a sewer, start a club to make blankets for the homeless. There’s a potential opportunity to fit any interest or skill.
  4. Explore other careers. From college students who are undecided to workforce veterans ready for a new challenge, volunteering is a smart way to try a new career path. You can experience opportunities in a variety of fields (business, social services, communications, food service, ministry, store management, the list goes on). When you volunteer on a regular basis, you’ll develop a snapshot of what it takes to work in that field which may open a door in life you couldn’t have dreamed up otherwise.

Ready to get started or try something new? Sign up to volunteer at your local Salvation Army. And remember, if you don’t see an opportunity already listed that’s a fit for you, get creative and call us. We’ll find a place for anyone who wants to help.

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