What are the best reasons to volunteer?

There are many reasons to be a volunteer -- but probably the best of all is simply to help others.
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With so many people volunteering in so many different ways, the individual reasons for volunteering are almost endless. Probably the best reason of all -- and it's likely why most people volunteer -- is to help others by making a difference and giving back to their community. This is truly a noble reason. But what are some of the other best reasons to volunteer?

One of the best reasons to volunteer is that it is tied to something you're passionate about [source: Do Something]. Maybe you lost a loved one to a disease and want to keep others from suffering the same fate. Maybe you've always loved animals, but your small apartment isn't an ideal home for a large dog, much less two or three. Maybe art has allowed you to express yourself, and you want to share that with others. Volunteering through different programs lets you be devoted to a cause that's close to your heart while spreading that passion to others.


Another great reason to volunteer is that volunteerism can benefit a professional resume. Many employers and schools look favorably upon volunteer experience. Also, while you're volunteering, you can learn new skills and sharpen old ones, honing your communication, leadership, teamwork and time management talents [source: Professional Resumes]. You'll also have the chance to network with others and possibly vet out a new career avenue. You might even earn credit toward your schooling [source: Carr].

Meeting people and having fun are also good reasons to volunteer. Perhaps you're retired with plenty of free time on your hands, maybe you have the summer off, or you just have some extra time in the afternoons or on weekends. No matter what your circumstance, volunteering can keep you busy. You'll be able to meet new people and have exciting experiences, instead of sitting around being bored with little or nothing to do.

Whether you want to do your part or make your mark, there are many great reasons to volunteer. And those that benefit from your help will just be happy you did, no matter the reason.

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Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Carr, Roger. "18 Reasons to Volunteer your Time." Everyday Giving. 2006. (Accessed 5/18/09) http://www.everydaygiving.com/volunteer.htm
  • Do Something. "Top 11 reasons to volunteer." (Accessed 5/18/09) http://www.dosomething.org/actnow/volunteer
  • Ellis, Susan J. "Why Volunteer?" Service Leader. (Accessed 5/18/09) http://www.serviceleader.org/new/volunteers/articles/2003/04/000048.php
  • McKenzie, Ian. "75 Reasons to Volunteer." Ian's Messy Desk. April 16, 2008. (Accessed 5/18/09) http://www.ismckenzie.com/75-reasons-to-volunteer/
  • Professional Resumes. "These Volunteer Reasons Will Inspire You To Do More." (Accessed 5/18/09)http://www.professional-resume-example.com/volunteer-reasons.html
  • Umlauf-Garneau, Elyse. "Giving back: 7 Surprising Reasons to Volunteer." Realtor. November 1, 2007. (Accessed 5/18/09)http://www.realtor.org/archives/feat3200711
  • University of California, San Diego. "Community Service: Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer." (Accessed 5/18/09)http://www.ucsd.edu/current-students/student-life/involvement/leadership/community-service/top-10-reasons.html