The word ‘volunteer’ stems from the Latin verb ‘velle,” meaning ‘to will, to wish.” According to the website triblive.com, volunteers are people who do things out of their own free will, without any force or compensation. I have always been a free spirit, so volunteering is well-inclined with my nature.
I love animals and seeing them in pain causes a lot of distress to me. So, I decided to use this summer to help rescue animals, to get them out of distress and rehabilitate them. Volunteering for an animal rescue seemed to be the natural course of action.
After some research, I zeroed in on a non-profit animal rescue called Hope Animal Rescue, which is based in Durham. This rescue center specializes dogs and cats, and since I am guilty of being more biased towards dogs than most of the other animals, it seemed to be the ideal place for me to kick start my volunteering experience. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.
The experience was rejuvenating and educational in equal measures. I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the canines, and always felt very positive and light-hearted after spending several hours with them. Since all such events were mostly during the weekends, I used to look forward to Saturdays and Sundays, when I could get an opportunity to spend time with my furry friends.
Volunteering itself has many advantages. One of the most important advantages is getting connected to people from different walks of life. For instance, I got to know about all sorts of people. Each person has a story, and exploring the different dimensions of a variety of people’s existence is a very interesting exercise. Moreover, it helps develop social and relationship skills.
Another advantage of being a volunteer is that you learn valuable job skills like teamwork, communication, leadership and crisis management. These practical skills are valuable at the workplace, and volunteer experience shows a recruiter that an individual has some of these skills. Furthermore, volunteering might lead to a short-term career without long-term commitment and offers a great way to gain experience in a new field.
I can vouch for the fact that volunteering improves emotional stability. It also boosts self-confidence, happiness and sense of purpose. Moreover, there are other scientifically supported benefits of volunteering that improve an individual’s physical health.
For instance, there are studies showing that volunteering may lead to reduced dementia and improves elasticity of the brain. It also helps burn calories if you are in a volunteer position where you must move around, which is great considering the increasingly sedentary lifestyle we are getting exposed to.
For me, in addition to all these advantages, volunteering has made my life much more beautiful and rejuvenating. The treasure trove of memories I have gained in these three months is a beautiful addition to the memories of school.
I feel that every individual, at some point of time in their life, should try volunteering. It is a different experience altogether and has the potential to take you away from mundane day-to-day activities, while also being beneficial for your health. Doing something for any living creature without any expectations generates positivity and gives purpose to one’s life.
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