General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Why volunteer?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25511 points ) June 22nd, 2012

If you volunteer your time at a charitable or nonprofit organization, what do you receive in return?

I know many jellies are a giving bunch. I’m curious as to why.

What do you get out of it?

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15 Answers

syz's avatar

An opportunity to meet like-minded people. A feeling of being involved in something bigger than myself and my own life. In many cases, immediate gratification (building a fence for a chained dog, doing demo for Habitat).

And it just feels good.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

“Experience” and connections. To fill my resume with something.

King_Pariah's avatar

What do I receive in return? Less time being pestered by the Inquisition (that means YOU mom, stalking my every move…)
A way to keep busy to keep my mind off of certain things
Occasional back breaking work which has a nice accomplished feel about it
Occasional free booze

bkcunningham's avatar

I like to think that I am helping someone who really needs help. Sometimes it is me who gets helped by a kind smile or a really good story being shared while I’m volunteering. Many times I get a hug so heartfelt it keeps me coming back.

wundayatta's avatar

The stuff I do will help improve some small aspect of the world, I hope. Sometimes I’ve worked for politicians who I support. Sometimes it’s to help bring more creativity into the world or help people become more artistic. Sometimes it’s just to help an individual in some way—small, or not so small.

marinelife's avatar

I like to volunteer to give something back, to contribute in a meaningful way to my community. But I get a lot more out of it. I have made great friends through volunteering.

laineybug's avatar

You meet new people, you help out the world, and if you like what you’re doing it’s fun. You make other people happy and you get that warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.

chyna's avatar

Because I can go home at the end of the day and feel like I did something good.

LostInParadise's avatar

I have done volunteer work and enjoyed it for all the reasons listed above, but I often ask myself if this is the best use of my time. What if instead of volunteering, I donated the cost of hiring someone to do what I was doing? Since the work that I do in most cases could probably be covered by someone else at minimum wage, an argument could be made that by donating the money, not only do I help the organization but I could help provide (at least in theory) pay for someone who really needs it. I know the organization would just get another volunteer to do the work, but it is the principle of the thing.

I have done literacy volunteering and felt better about it because I felt that I was doing something that made at least some use of my education and teaching skills.

KNOWITALL's avatar

1) If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
2) A feeling of purpose
3) if you’re religious, God commands you to help your fellow men.
4) Looks good on resumes (hopefully no one uses this as #1)

Frankly, I only do it with official companies or non-profits that I care a lot about and research well, and it can really boost your self-esteem, and it’s a good influence on others in your life. If you have a problem with committment like myself, think about it really hard because after the first couple of weeks it gets harder and harder, like after the ‘new’ wears off. And often they rely on their volunteers more than you’d think.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Give back to the community, meet and work with new people. Have a few laughs.
Now learning how to to use the “Cook house” a a local organization for their twice a month meal.

geeky_mama's avatar

I grew up volunteering…and just never stopped. I started as a library volunteer (re-shelving books and then helping in the kids’ summer program), then in High School was a candy-striper, and in adulthood have been at various times a Sunday School teacher, in the Emergency Room Family Liaison helper (another kind of hospital volunteer), Police Interpreter, Girl Scout Leader, Nursery helper, Tanzanian Relief Mission leader, and ESL tutor. Plus packing meals, donating meals, filling the occasional sand bags—whatever needs doing around our community or for hungry people around the world.

Our kids have grown up volunteering, too.. it’s just part of our family life..they think it’s just what people do. I think it’s sort of a family/religious unspoken thing based on “For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.”—Luke 12:48.

We’re not really all that religious (not in the judgemental/religious hafta-go-to-church kind of way)...it’s more like about the golden rule. If I was hungry, wouldn’t I want someone to share their food with me? If I was scared and alone in the hospital, wouldn’t I want someone to bring me a blanket or a pitcher of water or some books?

Our time and good health and good fortune is meant to be shared with those who have less than us, or need our help. Period. If you can find a way to constructively use your time & talents that you enjoy – all the better.

Symbeline's avatar

To fight/work for a cause that is important to you, and hope you’re making some kind of difference. And even if you’re not making a grandiose one, you’re still helping someone somewhere, so that is a difference, in a way. Say you volunteer at some soup kitchen, or give away things that people might need, you’re helping those people, and it may be important to your cause. And even if you don’t have any particular cause, why not, if you can? People need help everywhere.
This week I was called by this diabetes association, and they’re looking for items of any kind to donate. I have a bunch of kitchen and cooking stuff I really don’t need and never use, so not only will I be making free space by giving those out when they come to pick it up next week, but hopefully, someone somewhere will find a good use for all this stuff.

zuniac's avatar

I do it primarily because it is what Jesus taught us to do and God commanded. In addition, and at it’s most basic level, it simply feels really good to help someone out. As people, we are here for many things. Loving our fellow men and women are high on that list in my view. Nothing feels better than doing something to enrich someone’s life. It is a high you can’t get with any mind altering drug and it will help you live longer as well.

mattbrowne's avatar

Volunteering increases your happiness.

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