Volunteering is the act of a person who offers himself or herself for a service without taking any credit for it. You offer your services and your skills to the community, or to the world because you want it. You have that desire in your heart for helping anybody who need help and you offer it selflessness. Volunteering is a happy action, which you gain nothing else except respect and love.
Volunteering can be related to giving, offering or serving to others and it has the following benefits
- Builds Community
- Ends Loneliness
- Increases Socializing
- Builds Bonds, Creates Friends
- Develops Emotional Stability
- Improves Self-Esteem
- Helps Those Most Affected By Mental Illness
- Promotes Longevity
- Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s
- Leads to Graceful Aging
- Improves School and College Experience
- Provides Better Job Prospects
Put it in Practice:
If you want to volunteer or offer to the community you can start by little things and then go to the bigger ones. For example you can help your family members, friends, neighbors or strangers in the street that need your contribution. This time we challenge you to offer something to a complete stranger! Here are a few steps about how to do it
- Choose your target: select who you are going to help
- Assess his/her needs: think about what this person needs at this moment. Maybe his/her needs are materialistic (food, water, clothes, furniture, money etc). Maybe he/she needs help in some of his/her activities (for example to carry something, to manage taking the dog for a walk, to park the car, to read something, to go for a nature walk, etc) Last but most important, this person might need time, hug, compassion, company or just a smile!
- Plan your offering: choose what you are going to offer to this person based on his/her needs. Always remember that what you are going to offer has to be within your capacities (financial, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc)
- Approach the person and make your offering! But still, before you offer your gift, you need to make sure that the recipient wants to accept your offering and does not find it offensive. You may start a conversation telling the person that you would like to offer something to him/her and then based on the answer you continue. Volunteering must be fun for both parts!
- Last, if possible, observe carefully the impact your offering had on the person!
If you are interested in strengthening your volunteering experience, think about offering some organized services to the local or international community. Take a look at the links below for more details.
The Self-discovery process – 2 is part of online learning tools for personal and professional development of youth workers. The tool is developed under the project “ACHIEVE” – innovative methods for training and development of youth workers (2016-2-BG01-KA205-023835) funded by European Erasmus + Programme.
This online tool is designed to help you to increase your capacities as a youth worker through personal and professional development. It will lead your process of self-discovery, reflection and self evaluation. It is based on 2 ground-breaking approaches: The Positive Psychology and the Eco-centric development. Both approaches have been tested and proved to be significantly beneficial for older and young people in various areas. They were proven to be supporting both the personal and professional development of individuals by making them feel competent, confident, self-aware, self-motivated, pro-social and active. Moreover, the impact of embracing these 2 approaches has been found to be astonishing especially in the area of learning achievements. These two approaches endorse a holistic method and a new perspective in addressing problems by strengthening the individual to feel good and do good.
The benefits of following the process described in this online tool (by journaling, answering questions, reflecting and experiencing different practices) for you will be:
- Personal impact
- Development of soft skills: communication, active listening, analytical skills, creative thinking, learning to learn, coordination etc.
- Development of positive attitudes: confidence, self-awareness, motivation, proactive and social involvement, active citizenship and participation, increased self-efficacy, grit, resilience etc.
- Increase in life-long learning and strive for continuous personal and professional development.
- Professional impact
- Increase in professional capacities: planning and implementing innovative educational practices, and higher quality work.
- Better addressing the needs of the youth, thus increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your work.
- Better career prospects and higher financial stability.
- New projects and ideas, at local and national level.
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