Volunteering was probably one of the most unappealing things that I could think of growing up.
I never understood why you would sacrifice your time, your actual life, for free? Surely there was no benefit?
Even the experience didn’t appeal to me, it just sounded like when a salesman tries to get you to buy a product that you know is shit, so he adds a free gift – I’m not falling for that! Ha!
But seriously, I was so wrong!
I have done occasional volunteering before. I helped at an elderly home (twice) host their event, I just served tea and coffees for a few hours. I also volunteered in a charity shop (which I lasted two shifts) and worked behind the till. My experience always left me bored and ungratified, I was living my literal idea of hell, for free.
But this year, I hosted a charity ball for my local Mind (West Norfolk) , from this event I built a relationship with some of the people who also volunteered (and worked). Today, I’m a proud volunteer.
The thing is, I enjoy it so much now, I think the difference between the past and present is that my heart was not in it.
When you fight for a cause you believe in and stand by people who you want to walk with; it’s life-changing.
I’m not sure I’ll give up volunteering now because it is worth every second of my time. There are no shiny stickers (tho sometimes there is free food) or ultimate happy feels but that is because this feeling goes deeper, it’s not materialistic.
So how does volunteering benefit your health?
I’m not going to sit and blurt some research at you because if I haven’t experienced it, I won’t promote it. Facts and figures really don’t mean anything when it comes to our thoughts and feelings.
What I have found from volunteering, is friendship, loyalty, purpose, and passion; fuel for human nature – of the best kind.
So not only do you get out the house, fill those social moodlets and build a hunky CV, your soul gets fed like freaking royalty.
The only catch is that you need to be volunteering for yourself and your own inner morals, or it just won’t work.
There is nothing in the world that comes for free, what cannot pay with money may pay with reward.