Why do people volunteer? What’s their motivation for volunteering? What does volunteering mean to them? Asking your family and friends about their past experiences as a volunteer is a good way to help yourself find a volunteering opportunity you’ll love as well. Better yet, ask if you can tag along with them!
If you’ve never tried volunteering before, we highly encourage you to give it a shot as you’ll probably find that experience can bring huge benefits to yourself as well as the organization you’re volunteering with.
We recently spoke with Alexis Boeskool, a Foresters Financial™ competitive scholarship* winner about her personal volunteering experiences. Read more below to get an idea of what it’s like to be involved in enriching the communities around you. The positive change that Alexis experienced in her life as a result of volunteering is something many other volunteers have also seen.
Q: What does volunteering mean to you? How has volunteering impacted your life?
Alexis: Volunteering means the world to me and helping others in the smallest ways can make the biggest impact. To me, volunteering is a way of life. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking time out of your life to help someone in need. It has impacted my life in such a positive way, through various experiences.
Q: What was the most memorable volunteering experience for you?
Alexis: One experience that has impacted me the most would be when my mom and I volunteered at a woman’s shelter in Detroit, Michigan. Along with a team of people we helped clean, paint walls, and redecorate to better improve their lives. At the end of the day when they came in to see what we have done they were so filled with joy and happiness. Being able to change someone’s life is such a powerful thing that I think everyone is capable of. Giving doesn’t have to be materialistic, it can be an act of giving. Giving your time goes a long way and impacts the most people in the long run. I hope that everyone can experience the unbelievable feeling of making someone else happy by volunteering. This feeling of happiness I get from helping others makes me even more motivated to continue volunteering because as you help more and more people, you feel yourself making a difference. I realize that it IS possible to make a difference in your community and that strengthens my motivation to volunteer.
Q: How often do you volunteer? Where do you volunteer most?
Alexis: I try to volunteer as much as I can and take as much time as I can out of my schedule because I know that every little bit goes a long way. I volunteer within my own community most because I want to help the people that I’m surrounded by every day. While I’m away at college and in a different community, I volunteer here as well to give back to this community. I think it’s essential to always give back to the community in which you are a part of. Everyone should take care of each other first, then worry about others next.
Q: What types of volunteering work do you enjoy the most?
I think that giving back and volunteering at soup kitchens and food banks are my favorite. I enjoy these because the community is so thankful, and it makes me think of how fortunate I am as an individual to give back to these deserving people.
Q: What have you learned through your various volunteering experiences?
Alexis: The biggest thing I’ve learned through my volunteering experiences is that you can make a difference. It doesn’t have to be huge, but a small act of kindness with passion can hit the hardest and make the most impact. I found some life-changing volunteer experiences through Foresters. They provided my family and [me] with many different opportunities that we have all benefited from.
Q: What piece of advice would you give others to encourage them to volunteer?
Alexis: The biggest piece of advice I would give to someone would be to go out and try it. Even if you don’t think you will like it or you don’t think it will benefit you, trust me it will. It will not only benefit the cause you are giving too, but it will give you a sense of self worthiness, satisfaction, and importance. It will lift you up, and only makes you want to do more.
*Foresters Financial member benefits are non-contractual, subject to benefit specific eligibility requirements, definitions and limitations and may be changed or cancelled without notice. Available to eligible members with an in force certificate having a minimum face value of $10,000 or if an annuity, either a minimum cash value of $10,000 or a minimum contribution of $1,000 paid in the previous twelve months.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Foresters Financial.
Learn more about other Foresters volunteers in the digital version of the Foresters Report!
416296 CAN/US/UK (05/18)