Volunteering is the selfless service that an individual provides for the betterment of people and society. In general, it takes place by a group of people, who are a part of a not-for-profit organization. The organization works in the field of education, community services, and as a rescue team during disasters or emergencies. Initiated in the 19th century in the form of helping war-conflicted people, volunteering has gained a heavy voice and valuable place in educational institutions, businesses, and society. Though many people see volunteerism as a needed contribution to the community well-being by the willing citizens, it attracts questions on such short-term services lasting effect.
Positive effects of volunteering:
Volunteering benefits both needy ones and helpers on equal terms.
Nowadays, tension and depression seem common among adults and elderly. Whether it arises due to assignments completion pressure at work or from family and home issues, the rising stress is alarming. With volunteering, an individual gets an opportunity to think and work on something other than work and home. It keeps a person occupied and reduces stress. At the same time, one gets to meet new people and other volunteers, who share their friendship and keeps the environment fun and positive.
The heightening desk-ridden jobs have increased the risk of various health issues. Back pain, neck issues, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and poor posture are common among them. As many volunteering services involves physical work, it can minimize such impending risks. City cleanliness campaigns, carrying and removing debris, and awareness programs, all such activities becomes an alternative to complete a physical exercise. In addition, it provides an opportunity to home-makers to work in an open environment and make their contribution to the community.
Volunteering changes the vision of society and life. Where time is money for many, spending equal hours for a better cause in exchange for nothing but relief and smiles encourages an individual to deepen their thoughts toward right living. By seeing the lives and difficulties of others, an individual learn and stay ready to cope with future problems. With volunteering, a person becomes generous and helpful toward every other person.
Today, companies seek practical experience and knowledge along with better academic performances. Many colleges constitute special clubs for volunteers. The students as volunteers perform various tasks including educating poor in local areas and cleanliness campaigns. Volunteering boosts confidence, communicating, and leadership skills, which grants a fine weight to a resume. By recruiting a volunteer as an employee, a company finds it easy to share their social services with the employees and allow them corporate volunteering.
Assistance to poor
Many developing countries give volunteering a positive and welcoming response. With huge numbers of people living below poverty line, volunteers in these countries help them with basic necessities. Recently, in India, many government employees have come forward to volunteer by working in the farmland during weekends, to raise the income of farmers and poor.
Limit disaster consequences
People living in areas prone to natural hazards form groups and train themselves for volunteering during any calamity. Before the government starts its rescue and rehabilitation, these volunteers appear as a first-aid and save lives from the worst.
Negative effects of volunteering
Owing to its limitations, volunteering faces opposition and criticism.
Time management issues
A volunteer, at times, finds difficulty in managing the time required in performing a task. As volunteering isn’t a job but a social service. An individual has to earn for himself and family but while volunteering, he might be absent for long hours during family time. This can be stressful for a person and family members.
Many volunteering tasks involve children, poor, and vulnerable people, whose condition can destabilize a person, emotionally. As a human being feels connected more to the social work than the paid-jobs, a person finds himself thinking about all the volunteering period at work or home. This can greatly affect the family connections and continuous interest in the job. Also, a person engages in a debate and criticism regarding social causes and issues against the government, which disturb his social life.
Every human possesses an unspoken and unrealized willingness of helping others. Knowing a person or a community with a different language and living standard can be overwhelming. That’s why many people spend their lives volunteering. But a majority don’t volunteer for life and they must keep a daily schedule to counter the time management issues and distant themselves from any emotional attachment, as the volunteering is performing the assigned task. Though volunteering has its disadvantages, it is beneficial in long-term. In reality, it’s a lifetime achievement and one must volunteer at least once in this life.