While the recipients of donated time, service and money most always benefit from it, the donors benefit too. Not only do you feel a sense of accomplishment, but you may also realize:
Improvement to your overall well-being. People who volunteer have increased longevity rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression.
The development of new skills. If you want to learn a new skill, many charitable organizations will teach and train you.
Tax deductions. While donations of time are not tax deductible, donations of money are– as well as your travel expenses, parking and mileage incurred in donating or volunteering time and service.
New relationships. People you help or serve with will come from outside your normal professional and personal circles. I’ve met many interesting people through various charitable organizations that I’ve been affiliated with– and not just members of boards or committees. In one instance, I got to know people who had been on the brink of taking their own life– homeless and void of hope. Through a charitable organization that existed to help its participants learn basic job skills, and then place them with companies willing to give them a chance, I saw miraculous examples of lives that were saved. Many of these individuals are now contributing to society and giving back. These people have inspired me and softened my heart in many ways and on many occasions.
Stronger ties in your community. Volunteers are like a glue that bonds a community, builds relationships, and creates a safer, more vibrant society.
If you’re hesitant, you can always start small. Spend an hour or two a week reading to children at the library. Whatever you choose to do, rest assured you will benefit just as much from the experience as the people you seek to help