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Measuring Value Of Volunteering – Its Priceless

published March 04, 2013

By Author - LawCrossing
Published By
( 2 votes, average: 3 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Volunteering and networking are made for each other. They bring together a combination of wants and needs and they offer a combination of giving and receiving of talents and joys. Anybody who has actively pursued any kind of volunteer effort will tell of the satisfaction, many personal joys and spiritual enrichment of helping someone in need.

Measuring Value Of Volunteering – Its Priceless

Volunteering is growing in the United States. Polls regularly reveal that charitable giving has grown substantially over the years. Studies also reported large increases in church attendance. And more and more people are becoming involved in volunteering. Millions of men, women and children are involved in volunteer work. These volunteers cross all age, ethnic and income groups. The US is fast becoming a nation of volunteers.

The Need For Volunteers

Today, perhaps more than at any time in the country's history, we have a critical need for volunteers. Our news headlines seem to daily scream of drug related crimes, deaths by drugs, alcohol related auto accidents and the plight of the homeless. There is no dearth of elderly people - people who, in many cases, can't completely help themselves. Increasing unemployment and broken marriages result in further problems that can be helped through volunteering. It would not be difficult for any networker to find a place to use time, talent, skills or money to alleviate some measure of human distress.

Giving Your Self Away

David Dunn's in his wonderful book. Try Giving Yourself Away, suggests, "Each of us gets an allotment of time - twenty four hours each day of the year. Even the busiest of us has from a few minutes to an hour or more a day which we could give others in the form of some useful service." He continues, "In terms of downright happiness, it is my experience that returns-per-minute from giving are far greater than the returns from getting." We continue to emphasize that networking should not be a selfish pursuit. To truly work, networking must involve both giving and receiving.

The Opportunities For Volunteering

Opportunities for volunteering and volunteer networking abound. Even a casual reading of your daily paper or a few minutes in front of the evening television news should provide sufficient ideas for putting your "service" time to use. Volunteering can be done either through individual involvement or through organized volunteer and charitable groups. You can present yourself directly to those who need help, such as contacting a local nursing home and offering your services. You can participate in the volunteer efforts of a group such as your church, a service club or a volunteer group dedicated to a particular cause.

Networking Aspects Of Volunteering

Volunteering opens wide, the doors for every form of networking. The opportunity is provided for social, business and professional networking. You'll meet new friends and work together side by side with fellow business and professional people. The "working together for a worthy common cause" aspect will create strong personal ties.

Your volunteer networking process will employ all of the tactics you use for other forms of networking. You will be creating a data base of those you work with and for, writing letters and notes, making telephone calls, attending social and charitable affairs, perhaps working on a newsletter, asking for help and, frequently, saying "thank you."

A Networking Story That Inspires

Sometimes, the volunteer work done by the individual grows to proportions beyond the ability and energy for the person that started the work. This is how many charitable organizations get started. A networking story that quickly comes to mind is Trevor's Campaign for the Homeless.

Trevor Ferrell, in 1983 at age 11, saw the plight of the homeless in Philadelphia while watching a local news broadcast. That night, Trevor convinced his parents, Janet and Frank, to sacrifice a comfortable night at home and take him into center city Philadelphia. That first night he gave his own extra blanket and pillow to the first "street person" he met.

With networking and the support of his family, classmates and friends, Trevor began to make nightly trips into Philadelphia to distribute the food, clothing and blankets that he and others had collected.

Within two years after Trevor's Campaign began, Trevor and his family had networked over a thousand volunteers to help cook and deliver hot meals nightly to the homeless. Also, a 33 room boarding house was donated to Trevor to help his mission. It is known simply as Trevor's Place and houses up to 40 homeless people. Trevor's Next Door is a home for homeless women and their children.

Trevor's original act of kindness and charity has grown to seventeen chapters, with the latest opened in Paris, France. The Trevor's Campaign National Advisory Board contains many illustrious names.

The Rewards Of Volunteering

Your personal rewards for volunteering won't necessarily come easily. Volunteering requires time, work, patience, endurance, stamina, understanding, and sometimes even enduring a lack of appreciation. But the rewards are worth every bit of anything you sacrifice for your particular cause. The rewards include the appreciation of your work, the sense of joy that comes from seeing the good you have done, the admiration of your peers, the opportunity to network with an entirely different group of people and the opportunity to make new and lasting friendships.

An interesting reward for volunteering is documented in a study done by the University of Michigan Survey Research center. They followed 2,700 people over a ten year period to determine the impact of social relationships on health. They found that regular volunteer work, more than any other social activity, dramatically increased life expectancy! Now that's a really great reward.

published March 04, 2013

By Author - LawCrossing
( 2 votes, average: 3 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.