Sure, volunteering is great for our Jewish community and makes the world a better place; but could it actually make a positive impact on your life, too?
Whether you want to improve yourself with new skills, meet new people or just feel good about yourself, a volunteer opportunity could change your life for the better.
Contact Leni Sack to explore volunteer opportunities. 239-491-4449 ext 3
BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE
Many of our volunteers encounter a variety of new challenges when they begin giving their time in our community. Sharing new experiences with new people, they can learn new skills that can give them confidence to face challenges in other areas of their lives.
INTRODUCE YOU TO NEW FRIENDS
There’s no better place to meet likeminded individuals than through volunteering for a campaign or cause you believe in. Working together is a great way to bond with others and become part of our Jewish community and stay in touch long after your work is done. Plus, you could meet people that could become lifelong friends.
CREATE MORE FUN IN YOUR LIFE
Many volunteers are surprised at how much fun it can be to help others. Not every volunteer experience is the same, but by finding an opportunity that matches your interests, you have a good chance of having fun while giving time.
IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
There is evidence that volunteering can improve your health. In “The Healing Power of Doing Good”, writer Allan Luks found medical and scientific documentation supporting
• a heightened sense of well-being
• an improvement in insomnia
• a stronger immune system
• speedier recovery from surgery
Additionally, volunteering lets you road test different kinds of work, giving you hands on experience.
IT'S ALL RIGHT TO BE SELFISH...
Of course, you want to do something meaningful as a volunteer, and that's reward enough. Or at least it's supposed to be. But the biggest incentive for many volunteers is what they get from the work -- whether it's pats on the back from the Federation leadership or the simple satisfaction that comes from meeting and making friends with other volunteers.
IDENTIFY WHAT INSPIRES YOU
It might sound obvious, but it is important to take the first step: Identify what in our Jewish community inspires you. Which areas do you feel you would enjoy participating in and also make a difference. Again, that might seem evident, but it requires time and reflection, and few people make the effort.
Many people already have personal interests they can incorporate into volunteer work. We aren't talking only about people in their 60s, 70s and beyond. We are talking about young professionals, young families, and teenagers. Everyone should do their part to make this a better world.
LOOK FOR GOOD TRAINING
Nonprofit groups and social-service agencies aren't all structured alike. A library, for instance, may have a few volunteers to shelve books, without being set up to offer frequent orientation, training, field trips and lectures solely for its volunteers.
STAY (VERY) FLEXIBLE
Finding the right volunteer work can be tougher than finding the right job. Often, expectations are impossibly high: You're newly retired, eager to "make a difference," and convinced that you and your talents are needed and welcomed. Perhaps you've even taken a hard look at an organization or a cause and you're confident that the fit is right. And then, after a month or two, you're looking for the exit.
Remember: Volunteer organizations, for all their good intentions, can be as unpredictable as any business, experts say. Leaders come and go; missions change; budgets expand and shrink.
The Jewish Federation
of Lee & Charlotte Counties
is a consensus organization run by volunteers. It raises and allocates funds to local and national Jewish organizations, and is Lee & Charlotte counties’ link between Jews of Israel and the rest of the world. While providing support for individuals and families, Federation programs enhance Jewish identity and quality of life in the counties.