{10 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer}

I believe that if you were to ask someone if they want to make the world a better place, most people would answer yes.  Maybe you're part of this boat, but don't really know how to make it happen, or maybe you do know you really should find a way to give back, but just haven't... yet!

Changing the world doesn't have to mean you start your own non-profit saving orphans, or digging wells for clean water.  That's fantastic if that's what you're doing, but that may not be feasible for everyone.  Changing the world CAN start in your community through volunteering.  Whether you want to hang out with kids, folks with disabilities, the elderly, animals, or build a house there's a place for you to volunteer - I guarantee it!  In fact, I'll list a couple of my favorite non-profits below, and I'd love to help you find one with you if you're stumped on where to volunteer!

I personally love volunteering with kiddos.  I am currently a volunteer at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, a non-profit hospital, and I am a Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Without further ado, here are 10 reasons why you should volunteer.

1) Volunteering is good for the soul.
There's something that is so wonderful about knowing each Wednesday I get to go hang out with some of the coolest kids on the planet.  I know when I started volunteering I thought about all the lives I was going to be impacting.  I had no idea the kids, families, staff members, and other volunteers would impact my life.  I get excited when I think about volunteering and the kids I get to hang out, laugh, and play tons of games with each week.  They fill my heart with joy and I think that joy bubbles over into other aspects of my life.

2) There's (usually) not a time requirement.
So many people tell me, "I just don't have time."  To that I would ask, "Do you really not have time, or is volunteering just not a priority?"  When volunteering becomes a priority you will make time for it, folks.  The same goes with anything else in your life.  (Check out an awesome post here about priorities.)

Organizations want as much of you as they can get their hands on, but they respect that you are a volunteer and not a full time staff member.  Many non-profits thrive because of their volunteer support, but most don't set time restraints in order for you to volunteer.

If you can only volunteer at events, or if you're schedule changes a lot and you can't commit to a set time, totally fine!  Then, that's what you can do.  If you can offer a couple set hours each week, even better.  If you can do both, fabulous!  Is it required?  Not usually.  So, be like Nike...

3) Kids are hysterical and remind you to love life and not take yourself so seriously.
This right here is the bread and butter of why I love volunteering with kiddos so much.  They are a hoot and a half, and they love life despite the circumstances.  Kid's laughs are infectious.  They laugh at your lame jokes like last night when I told my "famous" Pokemon jokes.

Q: How do you get Pikachu on a bus?
A: You Pokemon!

Q: Why don't you want to shower with a Pokemon?
A: They might Pikachu (peak at chu)!

Yep, they're winners.  You're welcome.  Go share the beauty of Pokemon jokes with your friends.

They make fun of you and dish right back out the sarcasm you serve up.  They have no filter and say hilarious things.  You end up belly laughing for most of the time.  It's awesomeeeeeee.  They demonstrate how not to take yourself so seriously, they don't dwell on the negative, and they remind you to live each day to the fullest.  Kids rock.

4) You meet awesome new friends.
I have made so many new friends as a result of volunteering.  Since there are usually more volunteers than kids when I volunteer on Wednesday nights, I have gotten to get to know a lot of new people.  It's been really fun to catch up with them each week, share common interests, talk about meeting up on the weekends, or running races together.  They're also really encouraging which is a huge plus!

5) Volunteering isn't about you.
We spend too much time focusing on ourselves, our careers, our goals, our clothes, our this, that, and the other.  Volunteering is freeing in that it's not about you.  You're investing in others, getting to know them, working together as a team and friends to accomplish different things.  It is definitely humbling and, honestly, one of the best parts of my week.

6) You spread joy, and joy is contagious!
It's like this...

... except I know you're thinking that the hockey player is you, when in reality the hockey player is volunteering and YOU are the kid.  Volunteering has the power to bring that kind of joy, y'all!  And then you want to share it with your friends because it's so awesome!

7) You laugh A LOT!
I'm talking big belly laughs.  They are good for the soul.

8) Volunteering stretches you.
Volunteering has stretched me in many ways.  It requires a shift in thinking from a "me" mentality to a "servant's heart" mentality.  Sometimes being a volunteer means getting pretty creative.  Whether it's raising funds, planning events, playing a new game to keep kids engaged, surprising a child by telling them their wish has been approve in an awesome way it keeps you on your toes.

9) Volunteering allows you to use your passions to enrich lives.
This is another beauty of volunteering.  You can share your passion with others who also share that passion, or bring your whole self and heart to the activity at hand.  It makes you feel good to be doing something, or being around people, you care so much about, and it really benefits those involved because you're then very invested.

10) We're called to serve.

As Christian's we're called to serve others.  God has given each of us different gifts and talents.  It brings us joy to be able to use those gifts and talents to serve others, and it brings others joy when we offer those talents and our time.  Volunteering is an opportunity to do just that!  Get out there and serve!

Want to volunteer with:
Disabilities - Special Olympics
Animals - SPCA

Do you currently volunteer?  Are you looking to get involved?  What's your favorite part of volunteering?

Happy Thursday!!!

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