Volunteering. Why is it important to you? Why do you volunteer? In higher education, volunteering is always part of the conversation. We are always reminded that volunteering can help you become a better person on and off your resume, but is that all? Is that enough?
Recently, Globe University-Madison West held its annual Community Service Day—the campus closed its doors to spend part of the day volunteering. This year, our campus set off to Second Harvest Food Bank to help prepare more than 5,400 cans of food for distribution.
I asked those who volunteered during that event and others to reflect on volunteering. Here are a 4 reasons why they say volunteering is a win-win opportunity.
- Volunteering is a great way to bond with others. Laura Teed, veterinary technology instructor, shared, “Volunteering today was really fun and it was a great bonding experience.” Being out of the classroom or office and in a totally different environment with your fellow employees or acquaintances can be such a learning experience. It’s a chance for you to bond with others who are sharing this valuable experience.
- Volunteering allows you to learn. “Volunteering today [at Second Harvest Food Bank] was a great opportunity to become educated on some of the resources our students may use and understand the process how the food bank distributes food to 16 counties in our state,” said Amy O’Shea, campus librarian.
- Volunteering gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own life. “For me, this volunteer opportunity allowed me to give back to the community but also allowed me to remember to be grateful for what I have,” Brittanie Dempsey, financial aid administrator, said.
Emily Olson, accounting program chair, added, “I find volunteering to be a very humbling experience. If volunteering for the less fortunate, it always puts into perspective what I truly want versus what really is a need. Volunteering is also a great chance to get out and network with other individuals, and to support causes that are helping better the world we live in.”
- Volunteering lets you sharpen your skills. “Despite what many people believe, volunteering at a food bank isn’t only labeling cans or sorting food for distribution,” said Jennifer Brown, academic coordinator. “Like most nonprofit organizations, food banks depend on the skills of volunteers to help with various administrative tasks, networking in the community, organizing food drives, writing grants to receive funding, and other duties that are essential to the success of fulfilling the needs of our communities.”
Volunteering is a win-win situation for anybody. Are you set to volunteer? One valuable website created and maintained by the United Way of Dane County provides an exceptional list of opportunities: http://www.volunteeryourtime.org/.
Be sure to check out more photos of Globe University-Madison West’s Community Service Day project at Second Harvest Food Bank on our Facebook page.