Seven Myths about Volunteering
April is National Volunteer Month, which is a great time to dispel some common misconceptions about volunteering. Here are a few:
There isn’t an easy way to find out about volunteer opportunities. Yes there is! United Way Blackhawk Region hosts a free, volunteer connectivity website called Get Connected. Local nonprofit organizations, school districts, service clubs, municipalities, etc. are all able to post their diverse volunteer needs on Get Connected in the hope of reaching you. Check it out, you’ll be amazed at the diversity in volunteer postings available - everything from helping with an Easter Egg Hunt, to playing bingo with older adults, responding to local disasters, translating medical services, and so much more.
It’s tough to find time to volunteer. If you have a lunch hour, you have time to volunteer. Head to a nearby school to read with children, become a Lunch Buddy or deliver Meals on Wheels. We know your time is valuable and volunteering is about quality over quantity.
Volunteering will add stress to my life. Actually, working with or for others, staying active and expanding your worldview adds up to a healthier lifestyle. There is a significant correlation between volunteering and good health.
Volunteering is dirty work that no one else will do. Sure, sometimes people paint walls and pick up litter, but they also help make critical decisions as board members or grant reviewers. Finance professionals can put their skills to use teaching teens about financial literacy and engineers can lend their talent to local STEM programs. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.
Volunteering takes time away from family. When you bring the kids along to volunteer, you strengthen family and community bonds, instill empathy and create wonderful memories.
Problems are so big; I can’t make much of a difference. Consider the impact you’d make serving as a Community Response Team Member, advocating for victims of domestic violence. Or, becoming trained as a Crisis Line Volunteer Advocate for the Sexual Assault Recovery Program. Garden work days help to maintain local wellness gardens regularly utilized by people with disabilities, dementia and terminal illness.
Volunteering is thankless work. National Volunteer Month is our time to thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, brains and brawn to causes they care about in their community and across the Blackhawk Region. THANK YOU for stepping up –and getting connected. Thank you for embracing what it means to LIVE UNITED.
Adopted from United Way Worldwide.