I have always relied on volunteers in the varied non-profit positions I’ve held. Volunteers have helped with fundraising, program implementation including youth sports coaches and referees, clerical, volunteer recruitment, and answering the phones. I have also worked with volunteer Boards of Directors. I have trained, mentoring, and evaluated volunteers. I have been a volunteer member of two Rotary clubs. I have been a Board of Director for two other nonprofits.
Now that I’m retired, I have more hours to volunteer myself. Why do I volunteer? Because it feels good to give back. It feels good to use my mind and skills and talents. It keeps me active. I enjoy the relationship with other dedicated Christian volunteers and staff members in my current location.
Right now I am volunteering for the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. I am on the intercessory prayer team. When people come to the seminars they often have prayer requests and we have multiple stations where they can write a prayer request and put it in confidential box. This week I also was blessed to pray during a pastor’s renewal seminar. I mentioned last week that I helped with military marriage retreat.
Another position that I perform at the Cove is a program volunteer. I help with registrations, program evaluations and organizing tickets for the evening concert events. The Training Center at the Cove has a wide range of seminars taught by nationally known Christian speakers, concerts, spiritual retreats, and even guess groups that come to the Cove for their own retreats. Go to www.thecove.org for a complete list of events. Seminars are at no cost, with just a small fee for materials. They have amazing housing on site. Check them out!!
Below was taken from the National Service website about the benefits of volunteering. As one who has worked with volunteers and one who is a volunteer, I can say that the benefits are vital to my well-being! I encourage you to find an organization that you’re passionate about and then ask them how you can assist them in working towards their mission. There are so many varied volunteer opportunities that I’m sure that you will find one that fits your passion.
Perhaps the first and biggest benefit people get from volunteering is the satisfaction of incorporating service into their lives and making a difference in their community and country.
The intangible benefits alone—such as pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve. In addition, when we share our time and talents we:
• Solve Problems
• Strengthen Communities
• Improve Lives
• Connect to Others
• Transform Our Own Lives
Benefit Your Health
Over the past two decades we have also seen a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social ones. This research, which is presented by CNCS in a report titled “The Health Benefits of
Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,” has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.
Comparisons of the health benefits of volunteering for different age groups have also shown that older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, whether because they are more likely to face higher incidence of illness or because volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing.
Some of these findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.
Tips for Volunteering
Below are general tips for individuals interested in volunteering, as well as broken down by specific age category.
- 10 Tips on Becoming a Volunteer (32 KB PDF)
- Tips for Youth Who Want to Volunteer (30 KB PDF)
- Tips for Boomers Who Want to Volunteer (30 KB PDF)
- Tips for College Students Who Want to Volunteer (31 KB PDF)
- Tips for Families Who Want to Volunteer (29 KB PDF)
Other Important Links
- Issue Brief: “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research”
- Press Release: Volunteering Produces Health Benefits