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The Benefits of Volunteering!

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Self Leadership (64-slide PowerPoint presentation). Self-leadership puts together taking responsibility for our outcomes, setting direction for our lives, and having tools to manage priorities. Self-leaders work at all levels of an organization. They are front-line workers in every possible role, middle managers, and CEOs. Self-leaders like Walt [read more]

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“Volunteering is at the very core of being a Human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” – Heather F. Henry

volunteeringEach one of has his own philosophy to handle life challenges or crisis; each one of us has a different approach regarding the choices we take every day. These choices can either drown us down or make us stronger, but the choice is always ours. Some people will see the glass half empty or half full. Some of us will remain stuck in negative thoughts and others will search for the learnings. There is no best way or formula of achieving personal growth and going beyond our challenges as long as we keep moving forward and maintain a positive attitude. It’s not what happened to us that matters but how we react to it that counts; our attitude is fundamental and our FOCUS is what determines our outcomes, and then our future.

Volunteering remains an excellent way to live a passionate and fulfilled life as we help others in need or simply transform fears into happy moments, and tears into smiles. It is my favorite way to go over life challenges and live a life of joy independently of the circumstances. Many of us don’t realize the value of life we are living until we experience the life of others who are deprived from everything even the basics. When we spend more time with people with disabilities or in need, we tend to value more what we already have. Our challenges or crisis will never ever look the same.

The benefits of volunteering are enormous; it offers vital help to people in need, but the gains can be even greater. It allows us to reduce stress, overcome depression, learn new skills, and meet new people. Giving to others can be a wonderful experience that can empower you and give you a new sense of purpose in life. The more you give, the more benefits you’ll experience; and the happier you will be as many studies have demonstrated.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Based on the National Initiative report for Human Development initiated in 2005, taking the example of Casablanca, there are 28 centers that are split into 6 categories and respond to different needs:  Centers for disabled people; centers for infants and women in difficult situations; centers for Abandoned Children and so on. For each structure, a rating system, in line with international standards, has been adopted with the purpose of objectively assessing the quality of the services with a view to improving them.

Some of these centers have an annual cost of individual care approaching 36 000dhs per person as it is the case of the Association for women Solidarity; others are about 6 000dhs per year like the social center Dar El Kheir. Many others are functioning with 1000 till 2000dhs.  Unfortunately, there are still some of them that have no more than 300 dhs as a budget as the example of the center of Tit Melil (386dhs) and Dar Atfal Bermnoussi (300dhs). Some of you may be feeling some sorts of empathy towards these institutions. Others may be thinking of his last dinner, or his last pair of shoes that may have largely exceeded this amount.

Why is it very important to know about these figures? Being conscious about them gives you an idea where to start and what sorts of things to except as the priorities of each intuition may differ. The support can be in various ways not necessarily a financial one. It can be training for developing new skills; it can be translated into internships as part of the company’s CSR activities…It can be simply be anything that can enhance the daily living of these people like sharing great moments.

“Every person can make a difference, and every person should try” (John F. Kenndy), simply because “no act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted” (Aesop).

Giving to others will always make you a better YOU at all levels.

Here are 4 benefits to consider:

1. Volunteering Is Good for Your Health.

Our health is the cornerstone of any further personal growth. Volunteering can combine between mental and physical health benefits. The social interaction aspect of helping others can have a considerable positive impact on the overall psychological well-being, including stress and anger. Volunteering can also protect us from depression and anxiety.

“Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer.” – Allen Klen

2. Volunteering Can Make You Happier.

Volunteering is a fun and exciting as we tend to help others achieve their goals or simply spend wonderful moments that can be of a great value to people in need. It can be also a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day worries and life challenges. It can allow us to renew our vision to overcome life difficulties and carry over into our personal and professional life. Everything is interrelated; the better you feel about yourself, the more positive you become about life and future goals.

According to researchers at the London School of Economics, there is a positive relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness; the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. All what you need when it comes to volunteering is passion, a positive attitude and compassion.

“When you volunteer, you are not paid in money or recognition, you are paid in love. People may forget what you said, and people may forget what you did, but they will never forget how it made them feel.” – WomenOnCall

3. Volunteering Connects You with Others.

We all know that living in a community has a great impact on our well-being. Volunteering allows us not only to connect with others but it can enable us to learn more from them. Volunteering can make a real difference to the lives of other people as their difficulties can at the same time reshape our lives and vision. Volunteering is a great way to meet new wonderful people who often don’t need to get stuff or money from you as they only need your time and care. Volunteering gives you the chance to practice and develop your social skills and stepping out of your confort zone; when combined with a passion, it is even more fulfilling and self-worthy.

“Lifes’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr

4. Volunteering Helps You Value What You Already Have More.

No matter what sorts of challenges we can go through, it cannot be worse than these people who are deprived from the basics of the pyramid of Maslow. Getting to know more about them and spend more time with them, will allow you to reconsider your priorities and value more what you already have. Never underestimate the power of sharing even few moments as they can reshape your way of living and thinking.

Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, and add more value to your life.

“Only a life lived for others is worth living.” – Albert Einstein

We tend to focus more on objects rather than on moments. Objects may go away but great moments last longer and can impact our lives in very positive way; these moments will impact even more the people we are willing to help.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can.” – John Wesley

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About Hanane Anoua

Based in Morocco, Hanane Anoua is a certified life and executive coach, mentor, entrepreneur, and passionate writer with more than 13 years of professional experience. You can connect with Hanane on LinkedIn here.

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