Based in Melville, NY, Ellen Scharaga is a pharmacy professional with 25 years of experience. A supporter of the American Cancer Society as well as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Ellen Scharaga values charitable work and spends time outside of her professional life engaging in volunteer services. Volunteerism not only provides charitable organizations and nonprofits with the extra help needed to reach disadvantaged groups, but also can provide volunteers with several personal benefits.
Beginning with the physical benefits, volunteering can remove you from an old routine, getting you out of your home and moving around. Many volunteer opportunities involve cleaning outdoor spaces or packaging items such as food or medical supplies. The physical exercise coupled with the social connections that you can make working with people who share your values are excellent ways to fight mild stress and depression.
Volunteering also presents participants with an opportunity to learn new skills. Nonprofits often look for individuals who are open to learning new tasks. In unpaid volunteer positions, individuals can earn experience in areas such as office administration, childcare, and crisis counseling. They can then take these skills into their professional lives.
Perhaps the most important benefit is that volunteering brings a sense of accomplishment and charity to the lives of volunteers. Engaging with a nonprofit can help volunteers find a way to participate in an activity or cause that is personally relevant, especially if they work in an industry in which they do not receive personal validation.