Volunteering does the mind and heart good


Every year, more than 4 in 10 Canadians or close to 13 million of us, volunteer. Like donating money, donating time ensures many community shelters, social service organizations, food banks, as well as universities, hospitals, political parties, and religious and environmental groups are able to deliver their services and meet their goals.

Volunteering, however, also impacts society by increasing a sense of belonging both for volunteers as well those they help. Some research even suggests giving your time can positively affect your well-being.

If you or members of your family have spare time and are considering volunteering, here are some suggestions:

  • Consider your skills: You may be thinking about volunteer work related to a cause or interest, or because you enjoy connecting with people, which is great. But also consider your work experience and skills for instance, many charities need people with expertise in computers or cooking or communications and would be delighted to welcome someone who can jump right in with little training.
  • Consider your goals: There’s nothing wrong, of course, with choosing to volunteer with an organization that might help you with a skill you’ve wanted to learn. Maybe you work in an office but have always wanted to improve your carpentry skills and help build homes, or perhaps you’d like to brush up your writing skills by volunteering for a communications committee. Keep in mind, however, that this kind of volunteering may require more of a time commitment before you’re completely up to speed.
  • Consider your schedule: One of the most disappointing things for an organization is volunteers who commit then don’t deliver. Make sure you understand the time commitment that’s expected and whether that’s realistic based on your schedule and other commitments.
  • Don’t wait to be asked: Most not-for-profit organizations are thrilled to have motivated volunteers helping them out. Once you have a group or two in mind, phone or email and suggest an interview to discuss what you can offer or what they need. Remember, treat the interview as you would one for a full-time career do your research on the organization and ones with similar missions, prepare answers to questions you may be asked and practice.
  • Be satisfied: A lot of volunteering is hard work and some of it is emotionally draining. Expecting it to be fun may be expecting too much, nevertheless it should always feel rewarding. After all, your time and effort will make a real difference in the lives of others.

Have you volunteered? Are you considering it? Please share your own rewarding experiences in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!



Did you know: Young people volunteer more sort of

Young people, aged 15 to 19, are more than twice as likely to volunteer as seniors 75 and over. However, when older people volunteer they spend nearly double the amount of hours doing so. (Source)

10 thoughts on “Volunteering does the mind and heart good

  1. Volunteering does alot for peoples minda and sould. Iv had the privilege to be on both enda receiving kindness from volunteers in hospital. People who lend liatening ears and have kind hearts. And also have been able to be a volunteer for small local eventa weather it be sharing my passion to sing or juat simy helping with the small tasks like clean up and socializing with elderly and young.

    1. I believe the more we do for others is in the balance of life it is the balance we maintain to keep our sanity in our ever changing world.Do unto others as you would have them do unto you be kind and helpfull.

  2. I agree on volunteering that it does make the heart and community a good place, as I use to volunteer and are looking for volunteer work.

  3. Yes , volunteering has always been part of my families lives. It makes you forget for awhile, your own troubles, and appreciate what you do have, as many have less.
    Young, mid & old can help others, and it helps you too.
    So nice to work together for good of all.
    Try it , you will love it. Anything you can do, can help someone else. Just be there. I Nursing and retirement homes, hospitals- many lovely, lonely people out there! It takes away your pain too!! DB

  4. Volunteering gives the heart a lift. It humbles those who always gripe about this and that. We do not take enough time to sit down and list all the positives we have in our lives. When I feel low I jot down the names of all the wonderful people I have in my life and thank God they are always there when I need them. Volunteering is one of the free positives we can embrace – and it is uplifting – give someone a smile or a good morning – you immediately lift that persons spirits and makes you fee good too.

    Margaret Brady

  5. Volunteering is a wonderful way to contribute to your community and it is very rewarding. I have volunteered at various events over the years and I attend all of my children’s class trips as a chaperon / volunteer. I am volunteering two or three mornings per week for the nutrition program at my children’s school; it is a program where healthy snacks are offered throughout the school from JK to grade 8 on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Perhaps the most rewarding volunteer work I have done is my participate in the Strong Start Program at my children’s elementary school; it is a program designed to support learning through games and activities for children who are struggling academically. It is very rewarding to see the children I am working with progress through the program.

  6. I totally agree with you, Maggie. Visiting brave souls in hospital or care home inspire and make me grateful for all my blessings. Good for you!

  7. I love to volunteer! It makes me feel useful and like I’m contributing to the community. There was also a time when I needed help as I was a nursing student and did not have assistance with my schooling as I left home at age 14. I wanted to give back to society when I could. Therefore I have, I give Footcare to homeless people that have circulation problems due to diabetes and other healthcare issues. Winter is especially when I’m needed to help the elderly with frostbite and fungal infections, ingrown toenails, and many other issues that affect the homeless.

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