Volunteering has great profits, it is one of those actions in which you always receive more than you give. I want to say that even when what you do helps others to grow as human beings, who grows the most in that action is you. I know that the experience is different for everyone, but thanks to volunteering I had the opportunity to travel to get in touch with wonderful people and know that my small contributions will help people in need. With volunteering I was also able to travel outside of Greenville and see the surrounding area.
Many times people communicate with organizations to say that they have free Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoon and that they want to volunteer. This may be a good start, but I think it’s worth asking if you are willing to ‘sacrifice’ the ‘rest’ time, leave other interests, take time away from your personal desires; because volunteering is not really for those who have nothing to do, but for those who have much to do for others, know how to do well and want to share their knowledge, expertise and positive emotions that this generates.
Of course, if there is a real interest you can learn to make or perfect knowledge and practice, but organizations not always have the money and time to invest in training potential volunteers. It is also true that the necessary feedback and redirection of the actions leads the organizations to carry out in-depth courses aimed at those who are already volunteers and are carrying out a practice. This is already quite a gain for the volunteer because it is a training focused on needs, little theoretical and very experiential.
Now, organizations require many people, diverse experiences and knowledge. I know people whose work for months was to letter envelopes, to fold letters and to introduce them in them in the envelopes. This seems silly but its action motivated different people to donate a few cents with which the organization could finance their daily work. So an activity that seems elementary can really be very meaningful when it comes to the truth, even if this can only be done on weekends. What happens is that there are many more people available in these days and hours and few willing to donate time during the week and the actions must be carried out all the time.
In volunteering as in all work, we do not always like the people we work with or we like their answers. I think that trying to solve this situation and the crises that this can cause has been my other great learning and the biggest gain I’ve had that will really help me in other aspects of my life. I have also understood that emotions are the motors of human action and that when you dislike a person because of their opinion the one who loses the most is yourself because many times the other does not even know about it or if you find out, do not care or do not give the importance that you do. I learned that it is not worth disliking, that it is an exercise that only produces wear and tear on oneself and that when one loves, even those who think differently, this allows us to better understand their reasons, practices and emotions.
It has also become clear to me that the worst that can happen to us is to be indifferent to the events that occur and especially, that others are indifferent to us; because when someone is rejected or we feel we are rejected that motivates us to improve the situation, but when someone is indifferent, this denial leads us to ignore him to deny his existence, not to recognize him as a real other and ultimately, to deny us the opportunity to learn from that person and then, ultimately, who ends up losing is ourselves. This was especially true in my volunteer time. We worked to put together toiletry bags for homeless people in the St. Louis area. Homeless individuals are often ignored and made to feel less by society. Everyone who is in that situation has had very difficult life experiences and they need to know that there are some who will support them.