Volunteers are Selfish (no, really!)

This week at work the company held a Volunteer Fair.  As part of the fair I was asked to participate in a video about why I volunteer.  It got me thinking.  I spoke about my time volunteering for WOGO and what it means to me.

Why do I volunteer?  Turns out it’s for purely selfish reasons.  And you know what? – it was the same for everyone else that was interviewed.  It’s sort of surprising how selfish all of us volunteers are.  But let me explain.

Not one volunteer said, “I volunteer because it’s the right thing to do.” or “I volunteer because my company tells me I should.” Nope, it was for selfish reasons I’m telling you.

What we heard in the interviews was, “I volunteer because it is fun.”, “I enjoy volunteering, spending time with people in need and helping to make a difference.”, “I get more out of volunteering than the people I’m helping I think.”, “My week of volunteer work is my favorite week of the year, because it’s fun.”, “Supporting an organization that helps people, even just monetarily, makes me feel really good.”

See the theme?  It’s fun.  It makes me feel good. I enjoy it. I get more out of it than the people I am helping.  That’s pretty selfish, right?  No, not really.

The beauty of doing volunteer work and even donating to a good cause is just that simple – it makes you feel good. Putting a smile on someone’s face puts a smile on your face.  It’s contagious!

Another amazing thing happens when you volunteer and when you support organizations that do good works.  You inspire people.  In our company video one of our executives talked about how he started volunteering because of his employees.  Everyone who volunteered talked about how amazing it made them feel, so he joined in.  Now his goal is to inspire others to volunteer so they can experience those same great feelings.

There are a lot of things in the world that can make us happy.  Volunteering, giving of time and money, gives you good feelings every time you do it.  Being a part of a group that is helping others is rewarding in so many ways. You are a part of WOGO because you follow us, you encourage us and you support us. We thank you!

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