‘Tis the season of giving, and as the saying goes, “It is better to give than to receive.” Yet, what is the actual reasoning behind this? Is it truly better to give, and if so, what should be given?

Studies show that volunteering time is one of the most positive, influential acts that a single individual can do. Not only are there immediate benefits for the recipients, but those who volunteer also experience positive effects.

Below is a list of the top reasons to volunteer.

1. “Be The Change”

As Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” What better way to do so than by personally volunteering your time towards a cause of your choice? Not only will you make a difference in the lives of those you are helping, but providing variety in your daily routine will also be beneficial. The difference made in your own community, personal life, or even the world is unknown until you tap into its potential.

2. Acquire Career Related Skills

Volunteering in a field of your interest has been proven to be an effective way to gain hands-on experience for a future job. Aside from expanding your network, volunteering in your community or on a grander scale is a great attribute to your personal resume. Whether you intend on being a teacher or an individual who fights global poverty, volunteering with individuals locally or worldwide will give you experience on working in that field and with people around you. Employers are always seeking outgoing employees that display strong leadership skills. What better way to portray this than through volunteering for others?

3. Sometimes It Is Who You Know

Generally, throughout the course of a day, you meet at least one new person. It is also said that majority of your lifelong friends will be acquired during your time spent in college. However, while volunteering, not only do you meet an abundance of new people, but many of them have the same common interests as you. Despite cultural differences, backgrounds or personalities, the Good Samaritan-like deeds will bring you all together. These individuals could also provide for vital connections in future business or volunteering endeavors.

4. Expand Your Horizons

Often times during our lives, we find ourselves in a mundane routine, allowing life to pass us by. Volunteering is a great way to spice up and re-energize your daily life. By volunteering, you may discover new hobbies or interests that you would not have considered prior. Volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, or a senior home may open up other career pursuits.

5. Enhance Your Education

Valuable life lessons are often obtained from experience, rather than solely through a textbook. Education goes well beyond sitting inside of a classroom, retaining information taught by a standard curriculum. By volunteering, it shows employers that you went beyond what was required. Hands-on experience is a great way to optimize the amount of opportunities that could become available. Showing that you were able to maintain a good GPA as well as balancing volunteer time paints a better picture of who you are as an individual.

– Samaria Garrett

Sources: Help Guide, Huffington Post
Photo: Working Abroad