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The Benefits of Community Service: Helping Others While You Help Yourself

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People high fivingDoing community service does a great deal to help your community, but did you know that volunteering also benefits you as well? Of course, we volunteer our time and money to help organizations without expecting anything in return, but there are actually many benefits to doing community service that you might not realize that you can use to your advantage.

Make Connections in the Community

Volunteering your time at an organization gives you the opportunity to meet and work with people in your community that you might not have had an opportunity to meet. Spending time with a group of volunteers will help you expand your social skills and expose you to new people and things. You already share an interest in the organization and what it stands for; you might make some great friends also! There is also a good possibility that you will get to mingle with important people in your community and take your social network to new heights.

Volunteering is also a great family function. If you have trouble finding low-cost activities for your family or you have children and want to teach them the importance of giving back, doing community service is a fabulous way to spend quality time with your loved ones. Your children will be actively engaged in a worthwhile cause and you can discuss the impact that their contribution will make afterward.

Boost Your Overall Health

Giving your time to doing community service is a great morale booster and it will make you feel genuinely happy inside! I have never regretted the volunteer work I’ve done. I always feel great afterwards and cannot wait to go back for more! Even if you don’t have direct contact with the consumers of the organization, you will feel a sense of pride knowing that you are doing something to directly impact the lives of others.

Volunteering can also be great for your physical health. Helping out at a food bank, assisting in rebuilding houses, or planting trees and plants are all very active and you’ll break a good sweat while doing it. If you hate to exercise at a gym, volunteer to work at an organization that will have you moving around; it won’t feel like exercise, but you’ll be moving and doing your heart a lot of good.

Learn New Skills

Doing community service can help you gain new skills and learn many things hands-on that are great for your resume. If you are currently unemployed, doing community service is a great way to bridge the gap between jobs and gain important experience and skills. If you are just starting out in the job market, volunteering will ease you into the world of work and assist you in understanding what is expected of you at a place of employment.

Most volunteers are required to go through a period of extensive training and everything you learn as a volunteer can be very useful to you on your job search. You could learn how to use certain computer programs, office equipment or even event planning. All are skills that can help you get the job of your dreams!

You also get an opportunity to try out various fields and industries without committing to a “real” job first, thus giving you a chance to try your hand at various positions at different organizations before you settle down with a job.

In addition to the previously mentioned benefits to doing community service, it gives you a nice break from the everyday grind and gets you back in touch with your community, creativity and passions. Getting involved and giving back to your community can only enrich your life and the lives of others. To begin your search for a volunteer opportunity in your area, go to www.volunteermatch.org

Photo courtesy of PhotoStock

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