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Running head: VOLUNTEERISM

The benefits of volunteerism


Melissa Sabourin-McKnight
COMM1133-51
December 6, 2016

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Volunteerism might seem unimportant, but it is essential for the proper
function of a community and a non-profit organization. It can become very
expensive for non-profit organizations to have to pay workers, especially when they
rely on the generosity of the community for funds. A non-profit organizations main
goal is to help those in need, and it wouldnt be fair to those people if all the money
is used up to pay for workers. There are many benefits of volunteerism, such as the
fact that it enhances ones social life, it enhances ones career opportunities, and it
enhances ones self.
Since interacting with people is necessary while volunteering, it will benefit
the volunteers by enhancing their social skills. It has been found in a survey by The
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that Nearly 90 percent of those polled, who has
volunteered in the past year, say it has been good for their social life (New
Research: Volunteerism Not Only Feels Good, 2016, p.2). Volunteerism is a great
way to meet new people. As the number of people volunteering increases,
volunteers can expect to constantly meet new people because Its a chance to
meet a lot of new people (as cited in Mortland, 2009, p.17). It has also been
found in research that special bonds often develop while volunteering with others,
which is a foundation for making new friends (New Research: Volunteerism Not Only
Feels Good, 2016, p.4). Volunteerism is also a great way to hang out with friends.
Its a great way to work towards a common goal while doing good for the
community and for others. It used to be seen as something that unpopular people
would do but now that has changed: Its not uncool anymore to not meet your
friends out on a Saturday because youre doing volunteer work (as cited in

Mortland, 2009, p.28). Volunteerism has been found to also form relationships. No
one wants to waste time dating a person that isnt what they thought they were. It
is found that, more than 80 percent of those who have volunteered in the past year
would be more willing to date a person they met volunteering than through an
online dating site (New Research: Volunteering Not Only Feels Good, 2016, p.4).
Because of these statistics, volunteering increases the chances of finding a partner.
It also has the ability to make a couples
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relationship better: Volunteering provides couples with a shared activity that both
can enjoy with more than 80 percent of those giving of their time in the past year
agreeing that their relationship is better based on this unifying experience (New
Research: Volunteering Not Only Feels Good, 2016, p.7). This example shows that
volunteering has a positive affect on relationships. In addition to enhancing ones
social skills, volunteerism can also enhance ones career opportunities.
When someone doesnt have enough job experience, volunteerism can aid in
enhancing ones career opportunities. Volunteer experience looks good on a resume
and makes the applicant stand out more. Research found that It can be a career
booster proving an impressive resume activity (20 percent) ways people report
volunteering helped their careers (New Research: Volunteering Not Only Feels
Good, 2016, p.8). An employer wont want to hire a person that hasnt been doing
anything for a while because it makes an applicant look lazy. But if a person fills that
time up with volunteer experience, it shows the employer that that person isnt lazy
and is motivated. Volunteerism can also increase networking opportunities. Tina

Thompson, who is the executive director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,
experiences exactly that: I had no idea I would end up being offered a paid position
as a campaign coordinator and eventually be promoted to my dream job of
executive director! I ended up finding a career path better that I could have ever
imagined (New Research: Volunteering Not Only Feels Good, 2016, p.10).
Volunteerism will especially improve job skills. Volunteering can teach people to do
things that they would have otherwise never have learned. It can also lengthen their
list of skills that can benefit them in a change of career or enhance their knowledge
in their current career. Research shows that: 10 percent received new job offers
in their field, while 8 percent changed careers due to their volunteering efforts
(New Research: Volunteering Not Only Feels Good, 2016, p.8). Enhancing ones
social life and enhancing ones career opportunities are important, but enhancing
ones self tops it off.
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People tend to think that only the community benefits from volunteerism, but
there are also benefits for ones self. Volunteerism can benefit a volunteer physically
because its also a great way to get in shape. Nearly one in four people who
participated in volunteer work say it helped them become more physically active
and more than 75 percent agree it is a way to become more physically fit. (New
Research: Volunteerism Not Only Feels Good, 2016, p.11). Often times non-profit
organizations will have runs, marathons, or triathlons in order to raise money. Those
events will increase a persons physical activity. Another way volunteers are
benefitted is psychosocially. Volunteering can increase self-esteem and positive
feelings in the volunteer, and it can also decrease isolation. Miller et al. (2002) note

that Researchers have indicated that volunteers benefit psychosocially in such


ways as increased self-esteem, attitudinal changes, improved self-concept, reduced
alienation, increased feelings of helpfulness, greater sense of social responsibility,
reduction in problem behaviors and increased sense of purpose (p.248). It can also
benefit volunteers spiritually as Nearly half state it fulfills them spiritually (New
Research: Volunteering Not Only Feels Good, 2016, p.13). When people volunteer,
often times they feel like theyre serving God. These are just some of the ways
volunteers can benefit from volunteerism.
Volunteerism is the best way to help out in the community. Not only does it
benefit others, but it also benefits the volunteer by enhancing ones social life,
enhancing ones career opportunities, and enhancing ones self. Volunteerism is
beneficial for all involved.

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References
Miller, K. D., Schleien, S. J., Rider, C., Hall, C., & al, e. (2002). Inclusive volunteering:
Benefits to

participants and community. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 36(3),

247. Retrieved from http://proxy.library.niagarac.on.ca:8080/login?


url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218619179?accountid=39476

Mortland, S. (2009, June 15). OUTPOURING OF OUTREACH; Volunteers, from young


professionals to laid-off individuals and retirees, donating more time and skills to aid
nonprofits. Crain's Cleveland Business, p. 3. Retrieved from
http://proxy.library.niagarac.on.ca:8080/login?
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New Research: Volunteering Not Only Feels Good, It's Good for Your Relationships,
Your Career and Your Physical Fitness. (2016, January 12). PR Newswire. Retrieved
from http://proxy.library.niagarac.on.ca:8080/login?
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