I grew up in a family of volunteers. My first memory with my parents involved me handing out plates to the homeless people at the local kitchen. When I was old enough to use a hand trowel, my mom and dad took me to tree-planting activities. At the young age of 8, I was already helping build houses for the less fortunate folks. Despite it all, I only started asking myself why I was volunteering after attending the 2019 Volunteer Conference.
It was a genuine question that bothered me throughout the trip back home. Yes, I had no idea why I was volunteering. Perhaps it was because that was what my parents were doing, so I thought I should do it, too. Maybe it was because I was not given a choice to do other things. My family, after all, had this motto: “If one does it, then everyone else should do it.”
After some contemplation, though, I realize that my reason for volunteering was that it felt incredible. Doing so is good for the soul because:
It Humbles You
I know a lot of 20-something individuals born into old money who think poorly about the poor. Though I also come from a well-to-do family, my mom and dad have immersed me in volunteer work early. Instead of feeling disgust towards the homeless, therefore, I become grateful for what I have and find ways to help them.
It Changes How You Think Of Problems
Dealing with issues by overdosing on drugs or attempting suicide will never be the solution I’ll ever consider. Either seems familiar for affluent individuals, but I have come across less fortunate people who don’t even complain about the financial challenges they face. They keep on working hard to make ends meet; they know that self-harming is not the quick fix to everything.
It Gives You A Purpose
While my peers are busy doing odd jobs or wasting their parents’ money, I know what I want to do: continue helping others. I believe that that’s why I have come to this world in the first place. It warms my heart every time I think of the smiles I earn from the individuals who are on the receiving end of my volunteer work.
Give volunteering a try to under how amazing it can make you feel. Good luck!