Reasons-to-Volunteer, Altruism and Meeting Personal Needs

Reasons-to-volunteer vary and can be self-serving or simply a strong altruistic desire to serve others. Most commonly the reasons-to-volunteer for each individual is a combination of altruism and meeting a self-serving need of some sort. In reality all volunteer work provides a benefit to the persons, community or organization being served and to the volunteer as well. When you help others, you usually get more than you give.

Volunteering is working on behalf of other people, a specific cause, or organization without pay. It helps us to stay motivated and stimulated after retirement. We retire from our full-time job or career not from life. We all need to continue to feel needed and have a reason to get up in the morning.

Have you ever wondered why Salvation Army bell ringers will stand for hours in frigid weather? Or members of your local Lions Club will stand for hours selling Christmas trees again in frigid weather? They are not doing it to get praise from the public. The big satisfaction that they get is soul deep and a big well-done from the Lord.

My volunteer work often involved activities that were related to my faith or profession. Some of the volunteer work that I performed included service on the board of directors of a meals wheels organization, committee positions in my professional association and board and committee positions of a Rotary club. I took Rotary’s motto, “service above self,” very much to heart.

Serving others is something that God wants us to do. When you get right down to the bottom line, the only thing that we do in our lifetime that really counts is what we do for God and our fellow human beings.

Use your free time to help those in need. Volunteering in a hospital or nursing home or with charitable organizations can be rewarding for retirees. Try belonging to service organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary or Lions. The Red Cross and Operation Blessing are always looking for volunteers. The opportunities are legion.

Five good reasons-to-volunteer would include:

  • Obey Christ’s commandment to love one another. Volunteering is a great way to make meaningful contributions to people in need and to your community.
  • A volunteer job can be as mentally and physically stimulating and challenging as your career job was. This will contribute to your healthy mind and well-being.
  • You can feel free to leave the volunteer job if it becomes too stressful or otherwise interferes with a healthy-retirement.
  • Expand your social life by meeting new people and making new friends. Most volunteers are upbeat, positive people. This is beneficial to a healthy mind because emotions are contagious and we need to surround ourselves with positive people.
  • Enable you to stay connected by volunteering in your former trade or professional association

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In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham  Lincoln

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