There’s one topic we’ve been coming back to a lot in the if i could… office recently. And this topic is volunteering and where it fits in in our lives. Perhaps you’ve also been wondering how volunteering helps the world?
Getting out to volunteer our times and skills for causes we believe in means we reconnect with the goodness inside ourselves. We also make new friends, have new experiences, and hopefully change a life. This belief in the power of volunteering is why we offer global volunteer opportunities.
The one great thing about philanthropy is that you really can do no wrong! Find a cause that you care about and spend a couple of hours a week or per month. You don’t have to be an expert by any means. You just have to have a drive and willingness to help others. Any amount of time is appreciated – you make a huge difference just by being there. Spending time in situations where people are faced with hardships can be challenging.
How volunteering helps to change things
One of our interns shared one of her strongest volunteering memories from back home:
I remember one day in particular. It was a difficult Monday (aren’t they all?) where nothing was going right – my hair was not cooperating with the weather, I had slept through an early morning class and I had to walk through campus in snow that came up to my knees. I was almost going to excuse myself from a volunteer commitment I had made to help out at a homeless shelter, but I decided to go anyway. At the shelter that day, various companies around the city had put together tables with amenities for the underprivileged. As a volunteer, I had to show people around the area and make sure they knew where to find everything they needed.
The turning point
My first guest of the day was a middle-aged man who was very cheerful despite being out in the snow all day. I showed him around the hall and asked if he needed to see a doctor, or perhaps some groceries and clothes. He said all he needed was some dog food for his beagle which was waiting for him outside. I led him to the pet section and he picked up some pet food and went on his way. Immediately, I was completely amazed that although this gentleman was facing difficult circumstances, he was not thinking of himself at the time. I went home that day with a new perspective on things that I thought were tough, and gratitude for everything that I had.
Which brings us back to the question – why volunteer? Volunteer because it keeps us humble and helps us to appreciate the world I live in. Volunteer because it’s possible to learn something from everyone you meet and interact with. Choose to volunteer because every little bit of time you spend helping others makes a positive impact on someone’s life. Finding a volunteer project can be overwhelming, but that’s where we can help you!
Why volunteer in India?
Working in a third world country like India, which is going through an economic boom, combined with the experience of living with 1.2-billion fellow inhabitants, getting to know their culture, religion, tradition, and enjoying the beautiful nature the country has to offer, makes for a truly memorable experience. On one hand, you’ll grow your skills and build on your resume. On the other hand, you’ll also grow as a person given the richness and diversity of the country.
We all look for experiences that broaden our perspective and change us for the better. India is far from a simple country. The culture shock you experience upon arriving there almost demands that you change your horizon and look at things in a way like never before.
What happens when a stranger helps you? Or when a child you helped touches your feet and folds hands to express how thankful they are to you. There is no way you cannot feel something you have never felt. What we say about India can never do justice to what you can actually experience there, but rest assured you will not leave the same person.
If volunteering helps your heart steer in the right direction, then apply to volunteer today.