Last Friday, Bill and I had the opportunity to volunteer at Community Servings, one of our wonderful clients who are working hard to make sure that chronically ill people get nutritious, balanced meals. Not only that, but Community Servings makes sure that their caregivers and family members get these delicious meals, as well. You can learn more about these Real Life Heroes here.
On Friday, Bill and I spent our shift in the kitchen, preparing the meals for distribution. Never the culinary expert, there was a slight learning curve for me when I was asked to expertly chop cucumbers and to make a carrot/cranberry salad. However, the head chefs were very helpful and kept things lighthearted and fun. A Top 40 radio station played us some holiday classics in between a rotation of Taylor Swift and Beyonce – it was a great time for a great cause.
In honor of the holiday spirit, and inspired by our trip to Community Servings, here are five reasons why volunteering is such an important thing to do, and why you should sign up for a shift the next chance you have:
- It’s for a good cause. So, getting the most obvious and most important point across up front: volunteering is such a significant thing to do because of the impact that it has on those who are being helped by your efforts. In our case, Bill and I knew that we were helping to make sure that people in need in Greater Boston were not only getting fed, but getting meals tailored to them and prepared with their health in mind. Getting to be a part of that experience was a really unique opportunity that Bill and I appreciated a lot.
- It makes you a better person. You know how people say that volunteering isn’t 100% selfless? I think that’s probably true, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Of course the very nature of volunteering is helping others, but along the way, you are helping yourself, too. Volunteerism gives you a purpose and a perspective that you might not get from your everyday life.
- People appreciate it. Often the folks who work at nonprofit organizations are a bit overextended, and having an extra pair of hands goes a long way. Especially during this time of year, nonprofits are racing around to construct annual reports, run year-end donation campaigns, and are very probably executing a holiday conference, banquet, party or gala. Many hands make light work and you may be using yours to lighten the load of very busy nonprofit staff.
- You meet other great volunteers. Speaking again about our experience at Community Servings last week, Bill and I met several amazing people who were fun to work with and who were dedicated to their tasks. It was interesting to learn where everyone was coming from, why they were volunteering and what made them choose Community Servings as their cause. We met volunteers of all ages and learned a lot about each and every one as we moved between ladling a delicious looking soup and packaging the meals for delivery.
- It’s fun!
Volunteering is one of those things in which everyone wins, and who doesn’t love a situation like that? This holiday season, look around, be thankful, and think about what you could do to make someone else’s life a little better in just a few hours. Lots of our clients are looking for volunteers all year round, and a quick trip to their websites can yield some amazing opportunities!