There is something to be gained when helping others. You are introduced to people you might never meet and experience joy that you never knew was possible. Despite always referring to my 20’s as the “selfish years,” I find the act of volunteering a great way to keep in touch with the human condition and remind others that there is still hope in a world where children torment their bus monitor.
When I finished grad school a few years ago, I was happy to have my life back. No more weekends where I have to tell my friends I can’t hang out because I had to banish myself to the library. It was time to regain my social life, rejoin the race of the non-studious, and have some fun. And I knew just what I wanted to do: volunteer.
In high school, I was actively involved with Key Club run through the Kiwanis organization. We did a lot of stuff in the community including library readings and delivering Thanksgiving meals to nursing homes. It was a blast and it never really felt like I was sacrificing my time. To find another organization to volunteer my time was not an easy task. A lot of groups had weekly meetings that I could not attend because of work or were not accepting new volunteers. Plus, I wasn’t even sure what type of organization I wanted to volunteer for. There are so many causes out there (animals, diseases, poverty, violence, etc.) that I knew I had to start with who I wanted to help and go from there.