New Year Resolution? How About Volunteer Travel

As 2019 quickly approaches many people are starting the process of setting goals for the new year. One common goal is to be more intentional with giving back and volunteering. To make this resolution happen this year it is vital to assess interests and strengths in order to foster a rich experience for both the volunteer and the recipient community. Globe Aware offers an array of international volunteering experiences that can focus on individual' s skills or strengths. Read this article to see some of the benefits of volunteering abroad and locally.

The importance of volunteering in the community

Volunteering connects you to others

By Reggie Connell
The Apopka Voice

One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. However, volunteering is a two-way street, and it can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

Volunteering as a family
While it might be a challenge to coordinate everyone' s schedules, volunteering as a family has many worthwhile benefits. Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help others and enact change. It' s also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities for your children and family.

I have limited mobility' can I still volunteer?
Whether due to a lack of transportation, time constraints, a disability or other reasons, many people prefer to volunteer via phone or computer. There are many projects where you can help. Writing and graphic design lends itself to working at home, and in today' s digital age many organizations might also need help with email and websites.

If you think home-based volunteering might be right for you, contact organizations you like and ask what some of the possibilities might be. Some volunteer organizations may require you to attend an initial training or periodical meetings. You also want to make sure that you are getting enough social contact, and that the organization is available to support you should you have questions.

Volunteering: The happiness effect
Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being "very happy" rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy' a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000"$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers. Giving time to religious organizations had the greatest impact.

Volunteering can advance your career
If you' re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you' re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you' ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.

Volunteering can provide career experience
Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you' re interested in. For example, if you' re interested in nursing, you could volunteer at a hospital or a nursing home. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could be of benefit to your career.

Volunteering can teach you valuable job skills
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. For example, you could become an experienced crisis counselor while volunteering for a women' s shelter or a knowledgeable art historian while donating your time as a museum docent.

Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you raise awareness for your favorite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.

Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.

Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. For instance, if you have a desk job and long to spend time outdoors, you might consider volunteering to help plant a community garden, lead local hikes, or help at a children' s camp.

Consider your goals and interests
You will have a richer and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you first take some time to identify your goals and interests. Start by thinking about why you want to volunteer. Also, think about what you would enjoy doing. Volunteer opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are most likely to be fun and fulfilling for you.



The Apopka Voice

International Volunteers day supported by Globe Aware

Many marked International Volunteers day with celebrations this week. Globe Aware supports the same vision in this article and reinforced by the State of the World Volunteering Report released last week, that this kind of unpaid service supports peace and social cohesion that helps everyone. Here is a great article in the Samoa Observer, on how volunteers celebrate with games, fashion parade.

Volunteers celebrate with games, fashion parade

By Sapeer Mayron

09 December 2018

With the formalities done on Wednesday, International Volunteers Day took on another flavour yesterday at One U.N House in Tuanaimato.

Volunteers from Japan, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and other far flung places gathered to be pampered with speeches, good food, and sports out on the field.

They even treated each other to a fashion show, to display the Samoan workwear and accessories they' ve acquired on their journey.

Welcoming the volunteers were the directors of the Peace Corp, United Nations, Japan International Cooperation Agency and diplomatic representatives of New Zealand and Australia.

On behalf of Australia, deputy high commissioner Amanda Jewell echoed the words of acting high commissioner to New Zealand, Nick Hurley.

"Sometimes there are challenges, but they are opportunities to change, and to be changed," she said.

"We are here to commemorate the lasting contribution you' re all making in Samoa."

Simona Marinescu, referencing the State of the World Volunteering Report released last week, said volunteering, especially when unpaid, supports peace and social cohesion.

She urged the agencies and volunteers to map out the work they are doing against the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda to assess where their work was helping the most.

In closing her address, Ms. Marinesu told the volunteers how much they are valued. "We are fond of you; we are respectful of your work, which you do in an unconditional, direct way.

It tells us a lot about your hearts, and values." Peace Corp country director Ginni Wilderson said for the American volunteers who are placed in villages both rural and urban, learning the language and having a good laugh with their host families is just as important as the literacy work.

"It' s all about what we have in common, what makes us laugh, and remembering we are all human," she said. The formalities of the day ended with a fashion show ("Because volunteers are part of the fabric of society," said Ms. Wilderson), and games like tug of war on the field.

Samoa Observer

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Volunteer Travel and Other Strategies for Raising Generous Kids

Globe Aware is one of the few organizations that offer opportunities to families of all ages to participate in our volunteer travel programs. It is important to understand the growth and emotional capacities of children during these vital years and the effect that has on them as adults. How do you raise children to become caring, philanthropic centered adults? Read more here on how to foster a sense of compassion in your children.



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