With everyone leading such busy lives, offering your precious time to volunteer can seem counterproductive. However, in my experience the benefits of volunteering are enormous for me, my family, and my community.
People who volunteer, do so for a wide variety of reasons. Volunteering can support the development of skills an individual did not know they had, can support the cause of a friend or family member, be a response to a local community need, or be done out of a passion for building stronger local communities. The best volunteering comes from the desire to serve others, and make a difference. And, it is important to learn about where support is needed and how much time one individual can realistically offer.
Let’s look at supporting young people as an example. With weekly activities taking place at all times, a coordinated approach is crucial. If you can spread the work load, it is much easier to manage a strong community program which engages young people. Some activities may only happen once a year, such as a BBQ or special camp, other activities will occur monthly or weekly, such as a games evenings or excursions. Do contact your local youth group or scouting community to see how a small amount of your time can add a huge amount of value.
Fundamentally, volunteering is about giving our time, energy and skills freely to benefit a wider community of people. There is of course a choice to volunteer or not to volunteer. The choice is influenced by your belief system, groups or topics that we are passionate about, local opportunities, and ultimately your desire and enthusiasm to help.
Every small contribution does add value and does make a difference. In my opinion, doing nothing is unacceptable in the 21st century with so many in need right on our doorstep. The role of the government in all of this is a complex one, and a subject I shall address in another blog post.
Yours in volunteering
Chalks Corriette, President, Brussels, Belgium