It seems like most people who are trying to persuade you to do volunteer work are always trying to get you at their one specific company or organization. They show you all the benefits of working there and everything you should get out of it, all the reasons why it’s the best place to go. I’m sure one reason after another goes in one ear and out the other, especially when you have to listen to so many of them. Well today I want to discuss why any volunteer work is important in itself and it’s not so much about where you go or what you do but rather that you go out there and do it. First I will start with the importance of volunteering and why you personally should get involved, then I will talk about why volunteering should be voluntary and at a place that interests you (that’s not something we are used to thinking about but an important point nonetheless), and last tell you about what I learned during my volunteer work and why the Riley Arena Ice Rink in Cody WY is one great option for getting out there and starting to volunteer.
The Importance of Volunteering
1. How it helps the community and why it is needed
a. We all live in a community and the condition of it affects who we are and what we do. If its run down or has high standards b. A simple act of kindness can change a whole persons day or even their life c. Volunteering provides needed labor that may otherwise not be provided i. WY is ranked 18th in the country for volunteer work with about 30 Percent of residents consistently volunteering. (www.VolunteeringinAmerica.gov) it’s a pretty good number but I think we can do better. ii. In 2012 a total of 14.8 Million hours of work was given by WY residents resulting in $327 Million dollars’ worth of service iii. The sad part- a big chunk of those people are all over the age of 55. We need young people do to this too! I’m sure your thinking well that’s because I don’t really get anything out of it, that’s why only old people do it…but that leads to my next point of how it helps you
2. How it helps you specifically
a. Learn new skills that can come in handy in life
i. According to www.worldvolunteerweb.org 73 percent of employers would rather hire a person with volunteer work than without. and 94 percent of employers think that volunteer work can add useful skills to the job. ii. 94 percent of employees who volunteer actively either got a raise in salary or promoted over the employees who don’t volunteer. If the raise came down to you and one other person
b. Increased sense of self-worth
i. People who volunteer actively are 63 percent more confident in themselves according to that same study. I don’t know about you but I sure could use a bit more confidence, especially up here. ii. It can give you a sense of belonging and of being needed. This is bigger for men than woman because a lot of times men want to be useful and seen as doing good for the benefit of others. It’s who we are and volunteering is a great way to accomplish that.
c. Provides opportunity to meet new people
i. Meeting new people could lead to contacts in the future and it’s always a good idea to know as many people as possible, whether its people you are working with or helping serve ii. You never know when having friends will come in handy
iii. Can introduce you to people in completely different walk of life or environments and that could be life changing in itself.
Why Volunteering Should Be Voluntary
1. We usually don’t think about what doing volunteer work really means. We tend to skip across a big point…that it’s our choice to do.
2. According to Google.com the word voluntary comes from the Latin word Voluntas which means “out of free will”
a. If we are going to pick somewhere to volunteer at it should be somewhere that we want to work at. Make it something that’s important to you! This will help in multiple ways including i. Increased happiness when doing the work. No one wants to be bored all day with something they don’t believe is important. ii. The quality of work is improved which makes the place you are helping at even more thankful iii. Sense of self-worth is even higher because we are helping with something that we know is needed
b. If you don’t volunteer with something you value you will get bored and not enjoy doing the work thus resulting in less time spent doing the work. So what’s the point then? It’s all about our will and what we think is right.
Riley Arena Ice Rink –now I get to tell you all about my work here and why it’s a great place to start a volunteering career at
1. Background of Riley Arena
a. Ice Skating Rink in Cody WY that started in 1999 by Mr.Riley (according to the riley arena website that is) b. During warmer months it also holds banquets and other large gatherings which can be scheduled through their website c. Homes the Yellowstone
Quake hockey team
2. Why it’s a good start
a. The work wasn’t too hard, mostly just time consuming. We mopped the floor and bleachers a few times b. They were very flexible with the hours that we wanted to come in help and always seemed thankful for us to be there. c. It really does look great on a resume and will let people know you volunteered at a “cool” place (it is an ice rink after all)
3. How and why it fit me
a. I found a lot of pride in volunteering here because I felt like it’s somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of attention but still needed people to help at, even if it was cleaning bathrooms. b. Although I wasn’t out saving the world, or the children, or the animals, or the elderly…I was still making a difference in people’s lives.
In the end that’s what really matters anyway right, helping people in need and being a blessing in someone’s life. Volunteering is about helping the community around you and at the same time helping yourself, whether that is advancing your career or just making yourself feel good. You should try to volunteer somewhere that you believe is important and that you can make a difference, otherwise it won’t be fun for anyone involved. If you’re looking for somewhere to start your volunteering life then you could try out the Riley Arena but more importantly than going there is that you just get out there. Take a little time out of your busy schedule and make a difference in someone’s live, because you never know what you will get out in return. Thank you!