There are many advantages to volunteering your time and effort, including: personal satisfaction, making a difference and feeling a sense of accomplishment in a job that serves a worthwhile cause. Volunteering is also a way to gain meaningful experience and contacts and can be done on a one-time basis or over the course of many months or years.
Benefits of Volunteer Work (Adults)
- Professionals – provides opportunities to explore challenges outside the realm of the everyday workplace or maintain skills between jobs.
- Parents – provides opportunities to interact with new people or learn new skills. Some volunteer assignments, such as school projects, church projects, and Girl and Boy Scouts allow parents to help the community while enhancing their relationship with their child/children.
- Older adults – provides opportunities to stay active, get involved in the community, meet new people, practice a former profession or learn new skills.
Benefits of Volunteer Work (Youth)
- Sets a lifetime example of helping others.
- Provides needed experience for college applications, starting out in one's career, and learning job skills that could lead to greater life/career focus.
- Teaches how to respect differences.
- Prevents risky behaviors in teens, and increases academic success in at-risk teens.
Research has found a significant connection between volunteering and good health, longevity, higher function ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease. Volunteering is particularly beneficial for older adults and those serving 100 hours or more annually.
To get started, click here to be connected to volunteer opportunities with the City of Irvine.
For information about volunteering for a local nonprofit, click here to be connected with Volunteer Match.
Adapted from Corporation for National and Community Service