Give time to help self

What have you done this week to help someone else?’ What about this year?’ It’s alarming that only 8,821 people who volunteered last year were ages 16-24 out of the total 64,542 volunteers.

According to a news release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people in their early 20s were the least likely of the population to volunteer. The Bureau published the news release in January of 2009; it was a study through September 2008.

So why don’t you volunteer?’ ‘I don’t have enough time!’ you say. With exams and final projects coming up, you think you barely have time to breathe, let alone do anything else.’ Some people may feel that they can’t spare the money to slip into that collection bucket at the check-out counter.’ Maybe you feel that you lack efficient skills and wouldn’t be much help to anyone.

Not only is participating in philanthropic events beneficial to the people or organization hosting the event, but it is also beneficial to those who volunteer.’ Yes, you get all of those feel-good warm-and-fuzzies knowing that you did something that mattered, but volunteering can also help give you an edge over rival job applicants. This can only be a positive considering the competitive job market we’re all going to be facing.

Try finding something you love, then get creative and think of ways that it could benefit your future.’ Philanthropies look great to prospective employers and graduate schools.’ Tailor your volunteer activities to your best interests.’ Hosting a benefit concert would look great on a resume for a PR major hoping to go into event coordinating, for example.’ Volunteering presents you with opportunities to learn new things and develop new skills.

Maybe you could sacrifice one of your daily trips to Starbucks in order to donate a few dollars to your favorite cause.’ Every little bit counts, and everyone has expenses they can cut out.’ Plus, going without that ice cream, fast food, or espresso drink will
help you cut some calories!

Of course, we should never forget the importance of simply helping to help.’ Consider the karmic retributions you may face if you have the opportunity to help someone but are too tired or too self-involved.’ Nobody’s invincible, and it’s quite possible that one day you will be the one in need of assistance.’ If you’re not willing to help anyone else, who’s going to be willing to help you?