Summer Challenge: Volunteer

A woman and a visually impaired young man working with an ipad

Speaking as one, millennials tend to be portrayed in society as lazy, unmotivated, and lack work ethic and desire to be involved. However millennials are in fact motivated in different ways than our older generations, and we are more involved than other generations know. So what am I getting to here besides defending my peers in their twenties? Involvement is important no matter what age, more specifically volunteering. According to an Associated Press polling, “Those under age 30 are more likely to say citizens have a very important obligation to volunteer.”

So younger generations tend to volunteer more, that’s great. But volunteering is important to all people of all ages. It is especially important for people starting their journey in the work force or currently employed. This week we challenge you to get involved and volunteer to help others and gain multiple benefits including:

  • Gaining Experience: By volunteering you gain insight into new situations and scenarios. It allows you to develop better social and other skills that cannot be learned in the work place or school alone. It instills qualities in people including empathy and hard work that carry over into school and work.
  • Helping Others.: Helping those less fortunate and giving back to the community you live in or are from is extremely rewarded for both parties. Helping others brightens the attitudes of those being helped, which in turn brightens the attitude of the volunteer. The feeling of accomplishment relieves stress that is so often found in school or work.
  • Making Connections: This may be the most rewarding benefit of volunteering from the eyes of someone in, or looking towards the work force. Making connections is a pivotal part of applying for schools and jobs. Hard work and dedication is key, but knowing contacts that can help push you in the right direction never hurts and volunteering is a great way to meet and connect with people.
  • Career Options: Like interning, some volunteer work also allows you to mirror and observe the work of various career fields. By volunteering you can scout out different areas of work you may be interested in all while helping out.
  • Resumes/College Prep: If you haven’t yet applied for college, don’t worry, the applications aren’t as bad as they are made out to be. The key is to be prepared, and to do that preparation comes in the form of experience. Resumes and applications to schools and jobs are a collection of your past achievements and works. Adding volunteer work to your list is always a great attribute that puts you ahead in both school and work applications.

So this week take this encouragement and drive yourself to find a volunteer opportunity that will reward you and those you help. Volunteering is supposed to make you feel good while doing it, so make sure it is something you are interested or passionate about helping. If you are blind or visually impaired, do not let that discourage you from volunteer work. There are plenty of volunteer positions for those who are blind or visually impaired.

Click here to read more on gaining volunteer experience as a person who is blind or visually impaired, and don’t be hesitant to start volunteering and helping out!