You know those people who give so much of themselves — time, money, energy, passion — to our community? The ones who are organizing, fundraising, rallying, volunteering, always doing SOMETHING to make our world a little better?
They have a secret…
They get just as much as they give.
I’ve spoken with countless philanthropists, people with generous hearts and spirits, who all agree: the rewards of volunteering are many, and often outweigh the resources given.
I came to this realization late – like many students I logged community service hours in high school and college, but really, raking leafs and picking up trash didn’t resonate much with me. It wasn’t until I joined the Municipality of Anchorage Library Advisory Board (LAB) that I truly learned the secret to volunteering: it is one of the BEST ways to grow personally and professionally. The lessons I learned as a volunteer have benefited me time and time again at work and at play, but the single best part of volunteering is connecting with people.*
I was reminded of this when a friend signed me up to help plan a fundraising event for United Way earlier this year.** I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t finding a great group of people (pictured above minus the always awesome Aimee) who continually impressed me with their professional-yet-SUPER-fun approach to getting things done, and who aren’t waiting for their turn to shape our city: they’re shaping it NOW.
If meeting cool people who inspire you and make you laugh while doing something good for your community isn’t enough of a reason to volunteer, here’s a bit more about how giving back also means getting back:
- 4 Amazing Health Benefits of Helping Others
- Why Helping Others Makes Us Happy
- Can Volunteering Help You Live Longer?
Back to the United Way Downtown Scavenger Hunt: I’m happy to report that it will be back next year, but even bigger and better! Can’t wait!
*Hi LAB friends – I miss you!
**Back in our USKH days, we killed it on the fundraising front for our United Way workplace campaign; said killing it may or may not have been somewhat motivated by creating opportunities to wear strange costumes at work and play ping pong…