PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Volunteering: Why Should I Do It?

Volunteering takes up our time, energy, and sometimes, money. It can be hard work. It can find us doing and seeing new things, which can be challenging and even a little scary. So why does anyone even go there?

Well, here's a reason:

Volunteering is good for others
The world is not a perfect place, and many people, animals, places, and communities need help. Governments and professionals
try to meet everyone's needs, but it's impossible
for them to do it all.

This is why people become volunteers: because they can make a difference where someone or something needs help. If people never help each other and only care about themselves, the world becomes a crueler, sadder place. But when we volunteer our time, money, or talents, we help make our planet a better, happier home where people work together to make life easier for all.

Volunteers and volunteer groups can:

  • Bring food to hungry people
  • Find homes or clothes for those who need them
  • Make neighborhoods safer and more beautiful
  • Protect wildlife and natural areas
  • Help care for pets and other animals
  • Bring comfort and happiness to lonely people
  • Care for people who are sick, or help find cures for diseases
  • Help people learn to read or do better in school

Need another reason? How about this one:

Volunteering is good for YOU
Are you thinking, "What's in it for me?" The answer is, plenty! Here are some of the things you might get in return for your giving:

  • Making new friends
  • Gaining important skills and experience that will help you later in life
  • Making connections that can lead to a job or career
  • Seeing more of your community and world
  • Building confidence and self-esteem
  • Exploring what you want to do with your life
  • Feeling needed and important
  • Feeling satisfaction at getting things done and helping others
  • Meeting people who could be role models
  • Using your mind, body, and creativity
  • Getting active and healthier
  • Relieving stress
  • Fighting boredom
  • Spending time doing what you really care about
  • Gaining an edge on getting into college
  • Feeling like you're part of a community
  • Having fun!

Hey...it looks like being a volunteer gives as much good stuff to you as it does to the people, places, or animals you're trying to help! That's the secret of volunteering. People who become volunteers usually lead richer, happier, and more satisfying lives than those who don't volunteer.

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