If youíve never tried it, I highly recommend a few volunteer hours here and there. Volunteering to help others is a special reward and it has a unique role in a few areas of your life.
Giving Something Back
The first, and most important, reason to volunteer is that by volunteering, youíre giving something back to others. No matter how much you have or donít have in your life, you have much more than many. And when you volunteer your time to help a particular project or mission, youíre doing what you can to make a difference in the world Ė no matter how big or how small.
Giving something back can be as simple as helping with the younger kids at your community center or church on the weekends. You might be a leader in a youth trip to help the elderly cut their lawns. You can make greeting cards and sing songs to lonely individuals in nursing homes. You can distribute flyers and information about a cause youíre passionate in. You can do anything you want to help others without doing it for pay.
Feeling That Inner Glow
When you volunteer for something, especially something that is truly valuable and meaningful to you, you get a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside. That inner glow is pride in yourself for stepping outside of your comfort zone to try something new or just to do your best to impact others in a positive way.
Volunteering is a funny thing. When you find something that you really enjoy and benefit from, itís almost addicting. You want to do more and you want everyone around you to do it, too so that they can enjoy that same warm and fuzzy feeling.
Itís Good for the Long-Term
While not nearly as lovely as inner glows and personal pride, there is another reason to volunteer as often as possible. The more you volunteer, the better your college applications will look someday. College and universities like to see individuals who commit themselves to something they are passionate about. This could be volunteering at a childrenís day camp or building homes in earthquake ravaged cities.
Volunteering might even be required for some college applications, and the more hours you do above the minimum, the more effective your applications will be. Even in some high schools, volunteer or community service hours are becoming more common as a requirement for certain classes or even to graduate. This is great in two ways. It forces all kids to go outside their own little universe, even if itís just for a single semester, and it provides much needed help to certain areas that need it the most.
Get Out There
If youíre not already volunteering, you donít need to be limited by your lack of transportation or your age. There are ways you can volunteer your time online or a parent or team leader is surely willing to pick you up or drop you off so that you can do your small part to make a difference.