This April is National Volunteer Month. Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can participate in. In addition to the act of willingly giving your time to a cause that extends beyond a job or familial obligations, volunteering is an enriching opportunity for so many areas of our lives.
Volunteering strengthens the “Human Connection”. Unpaid volunteering is an essential component of many communities, often being the emotional glue that brings people and their neighbors together. Seeing your efforts in regards to even the smallest of tasks and how they truly make a difference in the lives of people you know greatly strengthens the communal bond. It also allows you to get to know the people around you better, developing new relationships born out of kindness and generosity.
Volunteering is an opportunity to learn valuable new skills. There are many types of volunteer work that a person can do, many of them require a level of training to ensure the work, while unpaid, is still quality work. Working a crisis line, for example, can teach a person a lot of good listening skills, as well as conflict management and resolution. Likewise, volunteering to help repair or build a house for a family in need, is a fantastic way to learn both simple and advanced carpentry skills, skills that normally wouldn’t be available to people outside of the profession.
Volunteering is often a catalyst for “the happiness effect”. Helping fosters an air of not only kindness but genuine happiness. Studies show that those who volunteer, based on the frequency of volunteering monthly to weekly, see the same amount of happiness as those who see a sudden and significant increase in wealth. Helping others quite clearly has a value that transcends monetary compensation.
Unfortunately, the obstacle that many people feel keeps them from volunteering more is simply time. While many acknowledge an inherent desire to volunteer, an imbalanced work/life relationship leaves many feeling like there’s just no option to do so.
Here at Prairie State Bank & Trust, we understand the importance of community and ultimately the value of volunteering. To better serve the Prairie State Bank family, we’ve incorporated time off for volunteering into our employment model. For more information on employment opportunities please visit our careers page.