There are many reasons why volunteerism is important. Volunteering combines people’s desire to do good, serve a meaningful cause, engage their skills and interests, and offer skills to share with and benefit the community.
People of all ages worldwide are contributing millions of hours to improve communities. According to the National Council for Voluntary Organizations (NCVO) up to 14.2 million people in the UK volunteered at least once a month. Here in the US, 62.6 million Americans volunteer annually.
- On a personal level, some of the benefits of volunteerism include:
- It changes lives of both volunteers and recipients
- Improves self-esteem
- Expands friendships
- Broadens personal networks
- Gets employees involved in community action through corporate alliances
- Provides intergenerational collaboration
- Gets seniors out into the community
- Gives back to the neighborhood
- Resolves global issues communally
Lyn Nevins and Christine Nevins-Herbert, MD, a mother-daughter team, have volunteered for over 30 years to help special-needs athletes who deserve a chance to prove their talent, develop skills, and compete as athletes in the Special Olympics. They coach a local Special Olympics tennis team, helping athletes make friendships and memories. These women also run the Connecticut State tennis competition.
Lyn and Christine see their work as challenging and exhilarating. They prepare their athletes for matches and Special Olympics games, reveling in the joy of their athletes. Their rewards are renewed purpose, fulfillment and camaraderie. This mother-daughter team are two of thousands of people nationwide who enjoy the privilege of volunteering.
If you have never ventured into volunteering before, why not give it a whirl and see how it makes you feel!