You work hard and have built a great career. You love your family and enjoy your life. But still you feel that something is missing, and you are looking for a way to give back to the community while enhancing your life even more.
If you are looking for a way to do well by doing good, volunteer work could be the perfect solution. The benefits of volunteering are well known, but they are often underappreciated, even by the volunteers themselves.
Too many people view volunteer work as a one-way street - the recipients of the volunteering get a hot meal, a holiday gift or a warm place to sleep, but the volunteers also benefit from the interaction. In fact, volunteering is good for the giver and the recipient - creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.
The truth is that helping others just feels good. Volunteers gain valuable skills, make important contacts that can aid their professional lives and enjoy a sense of satisfaction and community service. But much more than that, volunteers enjoy helping people, and they recognize that their efforts are appreciated and their hard work is recognized.
The answer to the question of why volunteer will be different for everyone, and there are no two right answers to this important query. For some volunteers, it is all about helping the community and giving back to a worthy cause. For others, volunteering is a way to repay an old debt - a formerly homeless person who is now enjoying financial and professional success might volunteer at the local shelter, paying his good fortune forward. A single mom who has faced hard times might collect toys and toiletries for parents and children in need.
This sense of personal connection is what volunteering is all about, and it is what makes volunteer work so uniquely rewarding. Unlike paid work, which has its own monetary rewards, volunteer opportunities are compensated with a different type of currency - like the smiles and genuine affection of the people you are helping.
No matter how rich your life is, the importance of caring for others can make your own situation even better. If you have it all and enjoy a financially secure life, volunteering can provide characteristics of love and satisfaction that can only come from loving people. In the end, this sense of personal connection is why charity is important, and why getting involved feels so good.
Omar Ascha is an emerging finance professional with an education from UC Berkley who works as a financial analyst. With experience in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and strategic advisory, he helps his clients achieve progressive, vertical results. Omar Ascha spends time outside of work mentoring college students to help their dreams become a reality.