Volunteerism is the act of helping others without asking in return. Being of help to others will bring joy to the people you are helping; at the same time, it will create a bucket of happiness within oneself, for in helping you will feel a great satisfaction with the service you are rendering to them freely. Aside from growing socially, through volunteering, you will also widen your perspective in life and you will develop more your skills such as your communication and social skills. You will learn how it is to be committed to serving people of your community as well as getting along with them.
Keywords: volunteerism, volunteering
Volunteerism can be defined as a long-term, planned, prosocial behavior that benefits the strangers and occur within an organizational setting
On a website, administered by Lois A. Fitzpatrick, a lecturer for continuing education programs of the University of Missouri Kansas City, the following was written:
Volunteering has become a meaningful activity for all ages – adolescents, adults within the workforce and retirees. Research has proven the positive rewards of doing for others and finding meaning in activities. Meaningful activity through volunteerism greatly contributes to an older person’s ability to age successfully.
In every volunteer work service I had done, I learned a lot of lessons. Since I started helping others through volunteering my time and talent of comforting and encouraging those who are less fortunate, I had felt a great satisfaction. Happiness springs within me whenever I am at a volunteer work. Serving food for the needy and seeing their huge smiles makes me realize how fortunate I am that I have a home and I eat three times a day.
One of the volunteer services that I always attend every cold season is a soup kitchen in a local church. This local church organizes a soup kitchen to provide the homeless people with some warm food and comfortable place to sleep for the night. During this time I had learned to be more appreciated towards life by just hearing other people’s stories. Through a story of a 50-year old man named Tom, I had understood that life is too short for us to take for granted. Tom was considered a successful man several years ago. He had a great job, house and family. However, three years ago he became very ill and lost his job. He also lost his house and medical benefits. The worst part is that his wife also left him. Tom was devastated and the next thing he knew he was living on the streets. I was very touched when I heard the story. Tom’s words made me realize that one cannot expect what will come or happen to oneself the next day. Tom’s life story taught me to be thankful for every moment in life, because one will not know what horrible things may happen one day.
I could say that one of the happiest moments in my life is volunteering at the soup kitchen. I remember one time when I was setting up the food in front of the kitchen, getting ready to serve the hot food to the people. There was an old man standing outside, carrying a big backpack. He came inside the church, shivering, with a look of sadness and hunger on his face. He set up his sleeping bag at the corner of the room. When he came to my area to get the food, I made sure to give him an extra spoon of mashed potato, pudding and coleslaw. I gave him a big smile and told him to enjoy his hot dinner. The man returned a “thank you” and finally smiled for the first time since I saw him entered the church. Just one smile and gratitude made my day.
In addition to meeting new people and learning life lessons, volunteering at the soup kitchen also taught me some technical skills that I can use in the future. People who came in to the kitchen have different cultures, lifestyles and beliefs, so I get to interact and talk to people with different experiences and views. Being an open-minded person, I am able to learn more about others, adapt to their ways and get along with people that are different from me. My communication and my social skills had improved as I gain more experience at the soup kitchen and as a result, I do believe that I am already prepared to face the competitive world.
All in all, volunteering at the soup kitchen had changed my perspective in life. Not only do I get a chance to help out my community, but also I am able to grow as a person through the process. Volunteering is one of those human deeds that everyone in society should try to do. Even though I enjoy helping others in different ways, volunteering at the soup kitchen is by far my most enjoyable service.