“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”. – Winston Churchill
Volunteering is something that can add value and meaning to any phase of our lives but there are special times when this value is strategic…a deliberate choice to move us toward our personal vision. Here are some examples:
- As a parent. Parents who volunteer become role models to their children and show that service to others is a normal, essential and wonderful part of life.
- While unemployed. Unemployment can add time and flexibility to your life. Choosing to serve at this time keeps you active, adds rhythm and purpose, allows you to build new skills and network with others.
- When retired. This is the perfect time to try new things and experiment with new roles and skills. The “second half of life” can move us beyond our traditional view of success because we have less to prove yet much to offer.
- When feeling down. There is nothing better that thinking of others when we are feeling down. We see that “we are all in this together”.
- To refill your spiritual fuel tank. Finding God through service complements prayer or a church experience.
Volunteering can be formal or informal. Formal is when you do it as part of an organization. Informal volunteering can be done almost anytime, for example, helping an elderly neighbor shovel the snow or bringing a meal to a neighbor that is dealing with a death.
Where is service on your personal value system? Be clear on the “why”.