Humanity, News

Volunteering and Happiness

by Victoria Brewster, MSW

Upon reading an article in a Good Housekeeping magazine from October of this year (2012), I came across an article titled: “The Happiness Boomerang: Give a Little of your Time and get a lot of Joy in Return” – I am sure this is true-whatever volunteering I do whether it is at my kids school serving pizza lunch, helping give out the coffee from the coffee fundraiser, organizing a ‘bring me your new, unused personal care products’ for donation to a women’s shelter, having my kids go through their unused toys and unworn clothing to give for donation, or assisting with a food drive of non-perishable food items, I feel good afterwards.

Some donate money, some donate items and some donate time. All are important and I am sure all are well received.

It really comes down to one finding their niche and how best one can give of themself. I work at an agency that has hundreds of volunteers and the agency would not function without them, especially a non-profit agency. Many schools rely on parent volunteers to sit on the board, assist with fundraising and help in the classrooms or school library.

Others are philanthropists that have the money to give thousands of dollars to a specific organization or to donate a specific product.

Others are humanitarians and give of themselves and visit underdeveloped countries to offer encouragement, to assist with a specific issue whether it be illiteracy, unsafe drinking water, a focus on family planning, scholarships to give a child the ability to attend school. Others build schools for children to attend…the list is endless, but it all goes noticed and is appreciated plus the giver feels good knowing they have given of themselves.

What kind of volunteering do you do? Do you receive joy from it? Do you wish you could do more? Are you more of a ‘Random Act of Kindness’ kind of person-giving without expecting anything in return, including acknowledgement?