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By Ayodeji Ojo

Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A lot of us want to do something good for the less privileged, our society and our country. However this desire is sometimes cut short as we may not have enough cash. The thing is you don’t need a lot to achieve your desire to put a smile on someone’s face through doing various charitable acts.

One form of giving that is often not explored in our society is that of volunteering. Volunteering is often associated with offering charitable services to people or small organizations to improve their lives or assist in the success of their projects.

It is definitely unpaid and it entails spending time doing something which aims to benefit individuals, groups or the environment. Volunteering could be formal or informal but whichever way you choose to do it, here are 9 amazing reasons why you should consider volunteering.

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Teach for Nigeria Fellow in an underserved school in Lagos State

  1. Teaches You New Skills

Volunteering can really be almost anything. That means that when you get involved in charity work, a lot of the time you will face challenges just as you would in a new job. And through overcoming these you learn and start to master completely new skills.

  1. Helps You Stay Active

Volunteering your time can keep you very engaged and active even while out of a job, looking for some new opportunities or venture into a new career path.  Sometimes when you don’t feel like doing something, that is the right time you need to make volunteering your friend.

  1. Fills Empty Spaces on Your Resumé

If your job search seems to be taking longer than you had expected, you might want to consider volunteering. It’s a way to prove that you’ve not just been sitting at home the whole time but you’ve been actively taking steps to improve yourself and society.

  1. Provides Relevant Work Experience/ Leads to Employment

I’ve seen people go into volunteering with passion, drive and no expectations, and at the end of the day end up getting a full time job in that organization or a referral for another organization.

On the other hand everyone is overwhelmed with finding a decent job these days. Something that seems to stop many is that experience often seems to be a prerequisite to get a job but what can really set you apart can be volunteering your time as it can actually help you get the experience you need to get your foot in the door.

  1. Can Be Therapeutic

Depending on what you choose to do, volunteer work can have a tremendous therapeutic effect. There are many options that can be tremendously giving.  Volunteering helps you look outside yourself and your problems, allowing you to see the world and other people from a whole different perspective, which in turn can make you grateful for what you already have.

  1. Teaches You What Truly Matters

It’s a great way to find new perspectives on life. When you’ve been at it for a while, you just might find yourself re-evaluating your priorities, or even deciding on a completely new path to take in life. One of my friends went from wanting to be a lawyer, to discovering a true passion for teaching.

  1. Helps You Make New Friends

Maybe not so surprising, but what might surprise you, is how genuine these friends are. Some of my long term friends are people I’ve met through volunteering.

  1. Expands Your Network

It’s very important to have a broad network. One of the great things about volunteering is that you meet a very wide variety of people. Instead of looking at it in a negative light of meeting people you don’t have a lot in common with, think of it as expanding your network. You’re getting to know people involved in different walks of life that you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” Sherry Anderson

Make sure you explore the idea of  volunteering this year. 

Read also: Osasu’s Pains – Why Don’t I Love My Baby

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