Volunteering. We all have done it at some point, whether volunteering to, say, read a paper out loud, or to help teach children how to read. Some volunteer positions are enjoyable, others, not so much. But they mostly feel good, and the knowledge that they are helping a good cause is what drives most people to volunteer.
One of our recent projects at school was called “Reaching Out”. We were put into groups of 4 to 10, and were assigned a non-profit organization in the area to represent. My group created a great presentation to represent KidZNotes in Durham, an organization that allows underprivileged children who can’t afford instruments or lessons to play music. We worked really hard on it, and while the work on the representation was hard, it 1) was enjoyable and 2) felt really good to direct attention to KidZNotes.
Another example: my school recently held its Fall Festival. There were a bunch of moms and dads volunteering at different posts from the name tags table to pumpkin painting, My mom, who was helping out the kids on the inflatable slide said, “I feel that the school gives a whole lot to my child, so it’s important to me to give back.”
From my position as a child who was there but actually noticed the volunteers, it was great to see so many people helping out my school community. Their work, though many barely noticed it, really paid off to create a great event.
However, of all of the people who don’t volunteer, I think it’s one thing that affects most of them: there is no reward like money involved, and that’s enough to keep a lot of people away.. The thing that all of those people don’t realize? There really is a great reward! Sure, it’s not money, but it makes you feel really great!
Actually, I would say that there are two rewards. Of course it feels good, but it could change lives of people! Whether you’re delivering food to underprivileged families, or teaching kids how to read, it can change their lives.
But I do understand that there is another reason: time. Think about your average day. I would bet that it’s pretty crowded between school, jobs, kids, or whatever. That, unfortunately is something with no workaround. I think that’s why I see a lot of retired volunteers.