Nothing changes a community for the better like volunteering. It connects you with others in meaningful ways and cultivates a culture of caring.

In fact, the success of any community can be measured by the dedication of its volunteers. Fundamentally, volunteering is freely giving your time, energy and skills. There’s a choice involved, and that’s exactly what sets volunteering apart from simply fulfilling a mandatory obligation. It means you care. It means you’re working with others who care too, generally about the same kind of things. Bonds form and unity strengthens.

This bonding process captures the very definition of community:

com.mu.ni.ty

noun

(1.) a group of people living in the same place

or having a particular characteristic in common.

(2.) a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result

of sharing common attitudes, interests, and

goals.

 

Plus, you benefit individually when you give yourself to the whole. These are just some of the ways a person can benefit from volunteering.

Growth
When you volunteer for an ongoing program, you see it grow over time—and you grow right along with it, gaining a sense of purpose and vitality.

Enrichment
You enhance the quality of your life when you work with others on a project that enriches the neighborhood. Just a few hours of giving can reap lasting rewards, which is one of the greatest benefits of volunteering.

Learning
By participating in new activities you can learn new skills. For example, when an accountant volunteers to help cook for a party, he not only walks away with cooking tips, but pointers on how to store food safely and serve large groups efficiently.

Friendships
When like-minded people get together, friendships are formed. After working on a volunteer project, it's not uncommon for people to exchange phone numbers or social media information. Lifetime friendships can develop from volunteering for just a few hours a week.