Debunking the Myth that Volunteering is Only for College Applications

July 05, 2016

Yes, volunteering looks fantastic on college applications, but did you know that giving back to your community can also benefit you in a lot of other ways? We asked our friends at Lion’s Heart, what can giving back to your community do for you?

Volunteering ignites passions.

Have you ever thought you might have a passion for something but just weren’t sure? Volunteering might just ignite that passion and lead you down a path not otherwise foreseen. Helping at an animal shelter could lead to a career in veterinary medicine or working with seniors might lead a person to look into the field of geriatrics. There are an infinite number of causes in which to volunteer and seek out knowledge while helping others. It’s a win-win!

Volunteering makes people healthier, less stressed, and live longer.

Volunteering gets you off the couch, and out into society to meet and interact with people in a meaningful way. According to researchers in the Interdisciplinary Program for Empathy and Altruism Research at the University of Michigan, “We are hard-wired for face-to-face contact that includes lots of touch, eye contact, and smiles. Such interactions release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps us bond and care for others, and also helps us handle stress better.” Social connections are especially important in this digital world we live in, the satisfaction of being connected leads to less stress and a happier and healthier life.

Volunteering teaches empathy and compassion.

In the fast-paced digital world we live in, putting yourself into “another person’s shoes” isn’t always so easy, connecting with people of all ages and backgrounds is an eye-opening experience, especially those in less fortunate circumstances. The ability to practice compassion in understanding and caring for another human being is a shared experience few activities can offer.

Volunteering provides a sense of belonging and purpose.

Whatever your age or your situation, volunteering can help stimulate your mind, alleviate stress, and take your mind off your problems. Being involved in your community creates a strong sense of belonging and acceptance and a good amount of self worth, motivation, and purpose in life.

Volunteering teaches leadership skills.

Volunteering brings out the best in everyone, and can inspire the courage and confidence to lead projects and groups of people you never would have thought you could. Embracing the skills and talents you already have, leadership opportunities can quickly follow suit.

So get out there and volunteer, make a difference in your and others lives, and be healthy and happy. It is worth every minute!

About The Author

Lion's Heart, Guest Blogger
Lion’s Heart, Guest Blogger

Lion’s Heart is a national 501(c)3 non-profit community service organization for teen volunteering in 6th through 12th grade. Lion’s Heart organizes members into groups so they can volunteer for various non-profit and philanthropic organizations in their communities while developing leadership, empathy, and life skills. We connect Members to local non-profits and give them the tools to build their own Volunteer Digital Portfolio for future college, employment, scholarship and internship applications. Each chapter of teens elects their own officers and runs their own meetings which gives members the power to choose how they want to serve society. 




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I'm a student at Columbia. I love writing, activism, terrible jokes, and binge-watching Netflix. Aspiring English teacher.
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