Why Should You Volunteer During The Holidays?
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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#Source: National Philanthropic Trust