The Benefits of Volunteering

Michael D Schoenfeldt
3 min readFeb 16, 2022

Volunteering is the act of willingly giving one’s time to assist others without compensation. It may be formal or informal in nature. Informal volunteering includes babysitting for a friend, making house repairs for a neighbor, and caring for a family member. Volunteering for a nonprofit or community organization is the most common formal type.

When you help someone else, you also help yourself. Volunteering brings community members together to assist those in need or improve everyone’s quality of life. Whether you are involved in animal rescue or mentoring youngsters, volunteering is a rewarding way to give back to your community. Additionally, medical health professionals have discovered that it confers numerous health benefits.

Volunteering is an excellent way to make new acquaintances and build relationships with existing friends, family, and coworkers. As a volunteer, you will often interact with people from various backgrounds, allowing you to gain new perspectives. Consider the people you will be volunteering with while choosing an organization or cause. Sharing a common passion will enable you to develop stronger bonds with others around you.

Volunteering provides you with an opportunity to meet new people and improve your social skills. By spending significant time interacting with others and developing skills such as active listening and relationship management, you will have the potential to create future personal and professional ties.

Volunteering and belonging to something bigger than yourself may help you find your purpose. For example, helping others can give significance to your life and keep you mentally stimulated if you are retired, unemployed, or have lost a loved one.

Volunteering can also help you develop a sense of connection with individuals you assist in the community. This experience may inspire you to become more involved in other facets of your community, such as local politics or supporting programs you believe in.

Volunteering can help you develop a stronger sense of self-worth and self-confidence. Having a sense of success from doing something important and valuable for your community can make you feel better about your life and more optimistic about any aspirations you may have.

Volunteering provides training and hands-on experience that can help you develop new abilities and strengthen existing ones. For instance, if you advocate and raise funds for a cause that interests you, you will likely develop valuable communication, public speaking, marketing, and other hard and soft skills. You can then include these talents on your resume to demonstrate how you develop relationships outside of work, as well as any personal interests that might differentiate you from other job candidates.

Along with gaining valuable skills and experience, volunteering may introduce you to people who can serve as mentors or, at the very least, form part of your professional social network. If you decide to pursue a career in the field where you are volunteering, the connections you create may also help you get a better job.

Numerous people volunteer to pursue their passions while also making a difference. If you are interested in the outdoors, for instance, you could volunteer at a community garden or a children’s summer camp. Volunteering for organizations or causes may help renew feelings of creativity and motivation, both personally and professionally.

Contributing to initiatives and organizations that are meaningful to you can be a rewarding experience. These positive emotions can help mitigate the negative consequences of stress, anger, and anxiety in your life. Volunteering may equip you with the skills necessary to be a happy and well-rounded person. Developing friendships and connections with others you volunteer with is also bound to help alleviate social isolation. Numerous volunteer options also require physical labor, which will allow you to stay active and reduces stress.



Michael D Schoenfeldt

A retired Army colonel based in Kansas City, Kansas, Michael D. Schoenfeldt most recently served as the commander of an armored brigade combat team.