About Us
Governing Documents
Home Repair
Help Articles
Leewood Links
Welcome and Sales

Guide to Volunteering

A national study found this year that residents of the Washington region volunteer at a rate higher than the national average, despite long commutes and busy lives. Residents of suburban Washington generally devote about 60 hours per year to volunteering, compared with 50 hours nationally, according to the study by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons, especially wanting to help others. But it's also OK to want some benefits for yourself from volunteering. Instead of considering volunteering as something you do for people who are not as fortunate as yourself, begin to think of it as an exchange.

Consider that most people find themselves in need at some point in their lives. So today you may be the person with the ability to help, but tomorrow you may be the recipient of someone else's volunteer effort. Even now you might be on both sides of the service cycle: maybe you are a tutor for someone who can't read, while last month the volunteer ambulance corps rushed you to the emergency room. Adding your effort to the work of others makes everyone's lives better.


Think about how much you receive when you give and consider why you want to volunteer. You may have several different reasons. Here are just a few of the many possible motivations identified by other volunteers:

- To feel needed
- To share a skill
- To get to know a community
- To demonstrate commitment to a cause/belief
- To gain leadership skills
- To act out a fantasy
- To do your civic duty
- Because of pressure from a friend or relative
- Satisfaction from accomplishment
- To keep busy
- For recognition
- To repay a debt
- To donate your professional skills
- Because there is no one else to do it
- To have an impact
- To learn something new
- For freedom of schedule
- To help a friend or relative
- For escape
- To become an "insider"
- Guilt
- To be challenged
- To be a watchdog
- To feel proud
- To make new friends
- To explore a career
- To help someone
- As therapy
- To do something different from your job
- For fun!
- For religious reasons
- To earn academic credit
- To keep skills alive
- Because an agency is geographically close
- To have an excuse to do what you love
- To be able to criticize
- To assure progress
- To feel good
- To be part of a team
- To gain status
- Because you were asked
- To test yourself
- To build your resume
- To be an agent of change
- Because of personal experience with the problem, illness, or cause
- To stand up and be counted


One of the rewards of volunteering is knowing that you’ve made a real difference, and actually having the chance to see it first hand. You will also make new friends, a brilliant opportunity to meet like-minded people with similar interests. You will also help the society grow by getting other people involved who wouldn’t usually get a chance to do this sort of thing. You will ultimately gain new skills that you will be able to put to good use in the future.

Why get involved in volunteering? Here are just some of the rewards…

- The ‘Feel good’ Factor: Know and feel that you’ve made a real difference.
- Increase job prospects: Employers want to know what else you’ve done at University besides get a degree. Voluntary work always looks good on a resume.
- Make new friends: Meet like-minded people with similar interests.
- Getting others involved: Help the society grow by getting other people involved.
- Gain new skills: You will receive all the training that you need to take part in a project and you will acquire new skills.
- Accreditation: You will have the chance to gain some formal recognition of your work and the skills you have gained.
- New challenges: You can get involved in something that you’ve never done before, or something that requires hard work. Facing that challenge will give you a brilliant sense of achievement!
- FUN: It’s an opportunity to have great fun! It's not just about volunteer work, but about having a good time and enjoying yourself.

You will probably have some special reasons of your own. Remember that the motivations you have to select the place to offer your services may not be the reasons why you stay. Once you're on the volunteer job, you will continue to serve as long as you feel that your efforts are accomplishing something, that your talents are appreciated, and that you make a difference. And if you also like the people with whom you work, so much the better!

As long as you are truly serving through your volunteer work, isn't it wonderful that such an exchange occurs? In fact, it tends to strengthen your commitment to volunteering when you can see the benefits to both the recipient of your efforts and to yourself. And it is much more comfortable than "charity" because it upholds the self-esteem of those with whom you volunteer.

Here are some links to get started in, or to continue, your volunteering efforts...


Public Service Careers and Volunteering

Volunteering and NonProfit Careers

The Corporation for National and Community Service


The Corporation for National and Community Service plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service and responsibility. We are a catalyst for change and champion for the ideal that every American has skills and talents to give.


Volunteer Fairfax


Volunteer Fairfax mobilizes people and resources to meet regional community needs. They value people and believe that through volunteer service people have the capacity to enrich their own lives and improve the quality of life in their communities.


United Way National Capital Area


For almost 30 years, UWNCA has been a recognized leader in community building in the Washington area. UWNCA was founded in 1974 when the United Givers Fund, the Health and Welfare Council, and the United Black Fund merged, creating the 23rd largest United Way in the nation. By 1980, UWNCA became the first United Way to include nationally known nonprofits, such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, in its annual fundraising campaign.


The Alexandria Volunteer Bureau


The mission of the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau is to link volunteers with community non-profit organizations and local events. To find opportunities in the area, take a look at thier Volunteer Hotlist or check out other opportunities at www.1-800volunteer.org. If you register there, they will be able to notify you of opportunities as they are posted.


1-800 Volunteer.org


1-800-Volunteer.org is a national database of volunteer opportunities powered by a volunteer management system for non-profits. You can seach today to find a place to volunteer or help in your local community.


Volunteer Match


Tens of thousands of opportunities are available through our online network every day. Even if you already volunteer, chances are you'll find opportunities that you didn't know existed. Want to feed the hungry? Tutor kids? Deliver medicine to seniors? They can help you find a great place to volunteer! With VolunteerMatch, it's never been easier to find a rewarding way to give back and make a difference.


If You Choose to Volunteer

Your efforts will be valued. You will be at your best when you work to bring together individuals, neighborhoods, schools, businesses, government, nonprofits, faith-based and other community organizations to achieve a common vision of a better community.






Help sometimes comes at a price or with a hidden agenda, but our helpful guides have neither. We hope that the information in our Leewood Times Guides give you starting points and focus. Our goal is to assist you in making informed decisions.

Here are the links to all the Leewood Times Guides


345 Money Saving Tips

Leewood Times 75 Money Saving Travel Tips

Leewood Times 2008 Winter Guide

Leewood Times Bar-B-Que Tips & Tricks

Leewood Times Employment Guide

Leewood Times Energy Saving Tips Winter / Summer

Leewood Times Guide to Credit Repair

Leewood Times Guide to Fall Festivals

Leewood Times Guide to Going Green

Leewood Times Guide to Holiday Entertaining

Leewood Times Guide to Local Farmers Markets

Leewood Times Guide to New Years Resolutions

Leewood Times Guide to Seasonal Allergies & Pollen

Leewood Times Guide to Spring Cleaning

Leewood Times Guide to the Capital Beltway

Leewood Times Guide to Volunteering

Leewood Times Guide to Voting

Leewood Times Spring Yard Maintenance Tips

Leewood Times Summer Fun Guide




Top of Page

Back To Leewood.us







printerClick for printer friendly page