Why is Volunteering Important
Fernanda Munoz - May 3rd, 2023
Volunteering has a bad rep right now. With voluntourism, social media philanthropy (who remembers Mr. Beast?) and the lack of impactful opportunities when volunteering can raise some eyebrows. However, it is still a requirement to graduate from most Canadian high schools, so what is the truth? And why is volunteering so important? What are the benefits of volunteering?
Volunteering is an act of service that involves giving your time and skills to help others without expecting anything in return. It is a crucial aspect of community development that has a significant impact on both the volunteers and the people they serve.
By volunteering, you can contribute to various causes and organizations that work towards improving the lives of others. Whether you choose to volunteer at a local food bank, a hospital or a shelter, your efforts can make a huge difference in the lives of the people you serve.
Volunteering also helps to develop new skills and gain valuable experience. For instance, if you volunteer in a healthcare setting, you can learn about patient care, communication, and teamwork, which are essential skills in the healthcare industry.
This also provides an opportunity to meet new people and expand your network. This can help to build social connections and boost your personal and professional relationships.
So, How do I Volunteer responsibly?
Having a good disposition is crucial when volunteering. It means having a positive attitude, being friendly and approachable, and having a willingness to help. A good disposition can make a huge difference When you have a good disposition, you are more likely to build strong relationships with the people you serve, and this can make your volunteering experience more rewarding and fulfilling.
This will mean having clear communication with the people you interact with. Make sure to avoid taking pictures of people in need unless you ask first, and try to stay off your phone so you can be present throughout each activity.
Social awareness is another essential point. It involves being aware of the social and cultural context in which you are volunteering and understanding the needs and perspectives of the people you are serving. It can also help you to identify and address any cultural or social barriers that may exist, ensuring that your volunteering efforts are effective and inclusive. Go to these activities with an open mind, and do not judge the people you are helping!
Now that we have established the ground rules let’s go play!
Benefits of Volunteering when Applying for University
There are several reasons why universities like students with extracurricular activities and volunteering experience.
- Universities are looking for well-rounded individuals who have a range of interests and skills beyond their academic achievements. Extracurricular activities and volunteering show that a student has a life outside the classroom and is willing to contribute to their community.
- They value students who have developed leadership skills through their extracurricular activities and volunteering. This is because leadership is a crucial quality that is essential for success in both academic and professional settings. By taking on leadership roles in clubs or organizations or by volunteering to lead community service projects, students demonstrate their ability to take the initiative and work effectively with others.
- Extracurricular activities and volunteering can demonstrate a student’s passion and commitment to a particular cause or interest. This passion and commitment can be a valuable asset to a university and can contribute to the diversity and richness of the campus community.
- Extracurricular activities and volunteering can also help students to develop important skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. These skills are essential for success in both academic and professional settings and are highly valued by universities.
How to find volunteering opportunities for high school students?
Here are some steps on how to find a volunteering opportunity for high school students:
- Start by identifying your interests and passions. Think about what causes you care about and what skills you have to offer.
- Research local organizations and charities that align with your interests. Use resources such as community bulletin boards, local newspapers, or online directories to find organizations that may be looking for volunteers.
- Contact the organizations you are interested in and inquire about volunteer opportunities. Some organizations may have specific requirements or schedules for volunteering, so be sure to ask about these details. Check out these blogs to learn about volunteering opportunities in Vancouver and Toronto!
- Attend volunteer fairs or events in your community. These events bring together a variety of organizations and provide an opportunity to learn more about their missions and volunteer needs.
- Consider volunteering with a school or community-based organization. High schools often have clubs or groups that focus on volunteering, and community centers may have programs that need volunteers.
- Talk to friends and family members about their volunteering experiences. They may be able to recommend organizations or provide guidance on how to get started.
- Check out our video on virtual volunteering opportunities!
Volunteering is important for you and your community. It will open doors for those that need them the most and it will create healthy habits and open doors for you. To learn how to include your volunteering experiences in your resume, check out this article. And make sure to book an appointment for further support!
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