Volunteering never felt so good
How you can make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season
Angie Lang, Features Editor
There’s an age old saying that goes, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
It was the great Winston Churchill who spoke those wise words and in tough times, we could all use a helping hand.
Whether you are the CEO of an oil and gas company or the owner of the Ma and Pa shop down the road, Calgary is going through one of its toughest economic times and this is impacting everyone.
As students, sometimes we try and be oblivious to what is going on in the real world, but this mind set will only kick us in our asses one day.
You know how professors are always telling us as students that volunteering will be the thing that sets us apart from one another when applying for the same job position? Well guess what, it’s actually pretty friggin’ true.
Fear not, there is something you can do to make your resume stand out and make you feel good, all at the same time!
And the secret weapon is… volunteering! I know it sounds easy, “Oh I’ll just go and volunteer for a couple hours and I can check that off on the life box.” Sorry to say it but, WRONG!
If you find a place that you really enjoy, you should commit yourself to being there once or twice a month, at least. According to UnitedHealthcare, 76 per cent of people who volunteered in the last 12 months say that volunteering has made them feel healthier. On top of that, 96 per cent of people say that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life.
Clarence, a volunteer at the Calgary Food Bank says that ever since he started coming in and volunteering his time, he feels that his overall health has increased. Clarence being in his early 80’s has to walk around with an oxygen tank due to smoking his whole life.
“Coming here and volunteering gives me something to do,” says Clarence. “If it weren’t for this place [the food bank] I would just be sitting at home doing nothing and wasting the rest of my life away.”
But what else can be gained other than feeling good about helping out those in need and living a healthier lifestyle? Volunteering could help with your career development.
A study done at the University of Southern Queensland suggests that students/new graduates who have volunteered or currently volunteer have higher odds of finding employment in today’s job market.
And if you do land yourself a killer job, it’s more than likely that the company will be putting in their time at a non-profit in Calgary. Volunteering with your job has shown to improve people and teamwork skills. 81 per cent of employed volunteers who volunteered through their workplace agreed that volunteering together strengthens relationships among colleagues.
There are a ton of great places to volunteer your time in Calgary that would love a young, fresh face helping out a couple times a month. The Food Bank and the Drop-In Centre are especially busy around the holiday season and can always use an extra helping hand.
Other places to check out are The Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, the Women’s Centre of Calgary and if people aren’t really your jam, you can always help out our furry friends at ARRCS, as well as humane societies located in Calgary and surrounding area.
Do some good this year Calgary, it might not mean a lot to you, but you could be changing a life for someone in need!