Dedicate some of your life to others. Your dedication will not be a sacrifice. It will be an exhilarating experience because it is an intense effort applied toward a meaningful end. -Dr. Thomas Dooley
The Bible tells us "To whom much is given, much is expected." Some people read this from a financial perspective and give money in proportion to their income or assets. Giving money is great and generosity is a virtue. However, beyond money, we have all been given significant gifts of skills and experiences that we should expect to share with others. This happens by volunteering our time.
Volunteers have numerous benefits:
- A much greater familiarity with the organization
- An opportunity to improve things
- The ability to meet the people served by the organization
- A chance to do something different than their everyday work
- The knowledge that you are helping someone and making a difference
- The opportunity to be on a team with people who share your interest in helping others
Similar to when you give money, you should seek the following when you give the gift of your time:
- Find a cause you are passionate about. Don't regularly volunteer somewhere that doesn't interest you or it will be a chore, not a joy.
- Make sure your time is well-spent. If you find you are wasting your time, suggest that the organization improve their process, or help them get organized.
- Use your gifts and experiences—don't just do any job that you are assigned.
- Work with friends. You can build tremendous camaraderie and lifelong relationships working together as volunteers.
- Work with your spouse or other family members. Parents can leave a wonderful legacy of service by including their children at an early age.
In obituaries, you frequently find that the highlight of a person's life was volunteering and helping people. To achieve honor beyond measure, try serving others.
- Find a place to volunteer your time and talents.
- Put thought into where you work, matching your passions with the organization.
- Know what situations make you happiest and invest your efforts there.
- Ask your friends and family to join you in your service.
Helping others, huge personal satisfaction, the admiration of others
Excerpted from Chapter 13, Volunteer, of The Surpassing Life: 52 Practical Ways to Achieve Personal Excellence, thesurpassinglife.com.