Beloved comedian and actor Bob Hope once said “If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” Fortunately we live in a country filled with the most generous citizens in the world*. Here are some numbers that demonstrate your collective generosity#:
- In 2011, 64.3 million adults volunteered 15.2 billion hours of service.
- The top four national volunteer activities are fundraising or selling items to raise money (26.2%), food collection or distribution (23.6%), general labor or transportation (20.3%), and tutoring or teaching (18.2%).
- The top four volunteer areas are for religious (34.4%), educational (26.6%), social service (14.2%), and health (8.2%) organizations.
- 88% of households give to charities.
- 65% of Americans do favors for the neighbors.
- 73% of Americans have helped a stranger.
Here are six career focused reasons why you should volunteer:
- Experience – Volunteering is one of the easiest ways to get real world experience; people don’t often turn away free labor.
- A good way in – Hiring Managers look favorably on those who have volunteered; and the contacts you make could lead to opportunities after you graduate.
- References: Make a difference for a non-profit, and they could make a difference for you with a great reference.
- Community minded: Proves to potential employers that you think of others; a valued trait.
- Demonstrates your work ethic: Knowing you are willing to contribute above and beyond, rather than simply looking for a paycheck is important. Volunteering looks great on your resume.
- Networking: ‘It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know’. Volunteering in your field allows you to make contacts and meet potential employers.
The Holidays can be a difficult time for people who don’t have a network of friends and family around them. Now is the time of year when many non-profits need extra help to help provide support to those who have no-one else. Try volunteering this holiday season and you’ll soon discover that it really is a win-win-win! It’s good for you, your community, and possibly your career.
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Program availability varies by location.
#Source: National Philanthropic Trust