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What does volunteering mean to you?

My name is Kate and I am passionate about volunteering and making the world a better place. I love helping people to realize their full potential in life and help them accomplish their dreams. #shootforthestars #career


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Melisa’s Answer

Hi Kate,

Thank you for thoughtful question. It’s great that you are thinking about this, as volunteering can often lead you to new connections and insight into new experiences and potential careers.

And even though, right now during the COVID-19 Pandemic, since there are limits on traditional, in person volunteering, there are still a lot of great virtual volunteer opportunities you can sign-up for and still gain experience and volunteer from where you are.

I work for a large corporation on our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) team, helping our employees lead and find community engagement volunteer opportunities to help make our world a better place. I love what I do and that we have the chance to learn more about what our employees and the other organizations we collaborate with are doing to help others.

See next steps below for some helpful resources and suggestions.

Best wishes to you in your career and educational goals.

#shootforthestars #career #volunteering #volunteer

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Consider finding a mentor in a career that interests you and learn more about their job, what they like. Ask them who they like to volunteer for and maybe join them in voluntering sometime.
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Take a look at this helpful list of virtual volunteer opportunities https://www.pointsoflight.org/resources/virtual-volunteer-opportunities/
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Learn more about non-profits and volunteer opportunities near you at http://greatnonprofits.org
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Learn more about CSR at AT&T http://att.com/csr
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Syed’s Answer

Hi Kate,

Volunteering gives us the chance to think beyond ourselves and use our skills for the common good. There are many worthy causes and folks in need that require support. At a personal level, volunteering is a spiritual exercise for me. The boom in virtual volunteering in response to the COVID-19 crisis has made it that much more important to get involved.

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John’s Answer

Hi Kaitlyn,

Volunteering can provide huge benefits to both your and the organization.

In my opinion, giving to others many time helps our mental and physical health. It may reduce stress, keep us mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it could be true that the more we volunteer the more benefits well experience, its also true volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve our health and happiness.

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Marybeth’s Answer

Volunteering can lead to some of the most fulfilling accomplishments of your life. Usually, people volunteer for causes that have personal meaning and bring personal joy. In pursuit of helping others, we usually end up helping ourselves. When you engage in an activity that has personal meaning, you bring your full focus--mental, spiritual, physical dedication are usually wrapped together in your endeavor. This imprints on your person through more than one mode of activity, imprinting the engagement more deeply than say, just reading a book, just listening to a lecture, just doing a single activity at a job. That strong feeling of personal satisfaction, that feeling of happiness, is important to our well-being as citizens in the world. If you feel good about yourself, you are stronger, more resilient and are able to cope better with challenges on a day to day basis.

People you come in contact with during volunteering are usually dedicated to that particular activity very deeply as well. Those community connections you make are now part of your "network". You are networking and you didn't plan on it or pursue it that way, but that's what you are doing! The people you meet and engage with; those you work with, those you help and those who organize you as a volunteer all see you as a team player, because that is what you are. These people may have other jobs, engage with other organizations and as you grow and change in your volunteer efforts, through school or at a new job, these people will remember how you contributed, how much you cared, that you showed up and were consistent in your efforts. That will pay off in these people recommending you for new positions and new forms of engagement.

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JOSEPH’s Answer

Great question - and happy you are so passionate about already volunteering and helping others at such a young age. One of my favorite historical figures is Winston Churchill. He said " we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give". Volunteering/ giving back for me allows me to enrich my soul - to offer assistance when I can to those in need. We are all in this together and should help as much as we can.

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Xavier’s Answer

Doing something for someone who has no way to pay you back is one of the most ultimate forms love to me. I think that those that "can" find their true purpose in humanity when they help those that "can't". I have to admit that volunteering is sometimes a "selfish" venture for me because it makes me feel amazing. It makes me feel as if I'm leaving a mark on the world (in a positive way). Maya Angelou once said, people may not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. I feel like volunteering gives us the opportunity to make the world feel good!

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Holden’s Answer

I love volunteering because it really makes you feel apart of the community. The smiles people give you, the stories they share, the fun you have with other volunteers makes volunteering an extremely rewarding thing to do!

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Rachel’s Answer

The opportunity to give back and make a small difference / impact where and if you can.


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AJ’s Answer

Hi Kate,

Volunteering is an act of service that brings together people of different walks of life. Unlike a paid-opportunity, volunteering brings out people who are motivated by personal factors that are unique to them. What I enjoy the most about any volunteer project or program I am apart of--is that everyone is typically there for a similar reason. Our unique lives have many common factors which allow us to build stronger bonds and societies.

Thank you for your Question

- AJ

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Irit’s Answer

Simply put: " Appreciation creates happiness." If you learn the value of things, you work hard to get them. When you get what you work hard for it gives you happiness. When you are happy, you want to share that happiness.

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Riley’s Answer

Volunteering is a great way to spend your free time as it is very rewarding! For me, I love to get some friends together and do something like a beach cleanup or a project for Habitat for Humanity, because when you are doing it with friends it makes it feel like it does not feel like work but you are still able to make a difference in the world. If you enjoy helping people I think you would love volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or working at your local soup kitchen or women's' shelter!

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John’s Answer

It means I experience the truth of two pieces of wisdom: 1. "The more you give, the more you get." 2. "You don't pay back -- you pay forward."

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Darin’s Answer

I volunteer for a variety of reasons. To help out and do some good, because it makes me feel good, because it keeps me busy, because it makes a difference, to meet new people, to network and to donate to charities. That's what volunteering is to me

I work for Disneyland and The Walt Disney Company has what's called the Disney VoluntEARS for cast members, and depending on the event their family and friends. Cast members go out to the Orange County community and do everything from helping with the local book drive, sorting and packing boxes of food at the local food bank (and cast members are encouraged to bring non perishables with them when this one comes up), beautification at local schools which usually entails painting murals for the kids and planting, putting on a free movie night at the park for the community just to name a few. And for each event we do, we get credit for the hours we worked and depending on how many hours we bank at the end of the year we can turn around and use those hours and Disney will make a charitable donation to a local charity of our choosing

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Aleks’s Answer

Hi, Kaitlyn -

That's a wonderful question and I am happy to read that you find so much fulfillment from making a difference in other's lives. Volunteering, to me, is about new experiences. Very few things educate us and offer perspective as profoundly as new experiences can. When you volunteer, you meet different individuals from varying backgrounds that you may not have crossed paths with otherwise. You'll also find out about many causes that highlight issues and affect others that we may not even had known existed. With all that being said, there is a good chance that you will walk away with something learned. This newfound knowledge can fuel you to better connect with individuals different than yourself. By broadening our horizons and having a better understanding of the world around us, it can allow us to make more mindful decisions and examine our own personal values.

Also, this personal development is there in place so that you can better pay it forward to others. By exposing yourself to nonprofits or local charities, you will be able to better understand how many people are in need and you can better arm yourself with the knowledge needed to serve them. Helping others breathe easier is so important as there are so many out there who need assistance and may suffer silently. Nonprofits and charities out there help give these individuals a voice and gives struggling individuals the ability to endure the storms and rewrite the next chapter of their lives with bluer skies. Tough times don't last, tough people do. Take care and thanks for posting.

#volunteer #charity #makeadifference #shootforthestars #career #volunteering

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Ruth-Anne’s Answer

Hi Kate,

Like Syed, volunteering is spiritual to me. Over the years, my focus has been on food security and education. There are so many ways to volunteer through not-for-profits (shelters, food banks, community outreach organization, scouting), a government agency (Peace Corp, AmeriCorps), schools or religious organizations. In high school, Key Club provided me with a variety of volunteer opportunities while allowing me to find my passion. My company (through the diligent efforts of Melissa and her coworkers) has provided many opportunities focusing on food security and education over the years. Within my community, I have also found many ways to contribute my time and talents...even with a defined focus, there always seems to be more opportunities than time.

Through volunteering, I learned to appreciate the unique abilities and perspectives of others, to understand the value of being a team player, and to meet many great people. In many ways, I feel that I have received so much more than I could ever give.

Best wishes in helping people to realize their full potential in life and accomplish their dreams!

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