PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Volunteering: How To Be A Good Volunteer

Volunteering is fun and rewarding, but it's also a little more complicated than just showing up and having a good time. Here's some advice on how to make the most of your volunteer work:

Be selfless. Selfless is the opposite of selfish. Don't think about what you can do to help yourself. Think about what you can do to help others.

Be well-trained. Know what you're doing as a volunteer. If you need some time to learn your job, take that time. If you need training or need someone to show you what you're supposed to do, speak up. If you're good at your job, it will be much easier to help others (plus you'll have a lot more fun).

Be dependable. Do what you say you'll do, and do your best. Don't show up late, and always keep your promises. People will be relying on you so you don't want to let them down.

Be enthusiastic. Don't moan and groan your way through your volunteer work. If you really don't like what you're doing, find something else. Always have a positive attitude and show others that you're doing this because you WANT to.

Be open-minded. One of the really great things about being a volunteer is the chance to learn and experience new things. Keep your mind open to new possibilities, and you'll probably grow as a person.

Be respectful. Always remember to show respect for other people and other cultures. Keep in mind that your way of thinking or living is not the only way there is.

Be cooperative. Don't be a "hot shot" or a loner. Don't try to do everything yourself. Work as part of a team to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate and do his or her fair share of work. If someone asks for help, be willing to lend a hand. If you need some help, ask politely for it.

Be understanding. Try to see things through other people's eyes. Try your best to understand what other people are going through, even if it's something you've never dealt with yourself.

Be humble. Humble people don't brag or go around telling everyone about all the good things they've done just to get some attention or feel superior. They're happy knowing that they're making a difference, and don't need to shout about it.

Be friendly. Treat others like friends, and they'll do the same for you. Many people who volunteer meet new people with whom they want to stay friends. You might just meet someone who becomes a buddy for the rest of your life!

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