Why Volunteer? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   We are a nation of people generally inclined to help one another. We may not all be good Samaritans, but neither are we heartless toward our neighbors. Many of us volunteer time to help the homeless or the sick or the poor. Sometimes, however, we are reluctant to help others when we feel we do not have enough time or that it may disrupt our own lives significantly.

The truth is that any amount of time we can give is enough to make a significant difference in someone else's life. Spending one afternoon in a homeless shelter serving meals could be enough to keep someone alive for another day. The load on other volunteers could be reduced if we help share some in that load.

A day of charity work in a children's hospital could have great impact on many lives. Even giving a small amount of attention to a child who has suffered through much adversity could make a large difference in that child's life. It could strengthen the child's trust and belief in others and turn an otherwise dreary day in the hospital into a day of enjoyment.

One of the most important areas where volunteer work is needed is working with children. We have a responsibility to the youth of this country to make sure they grow up right. Sometimes parents cannot provide the guidance and leadership their children need. As a result, a void comes between the parent and the child. We must fill that void.

We should join Big Brothers or Big Sisters and help children who have had no one else to give them direction in life. We can also benefit from this kind of volunteer "work" because we can spend time with an energetic child and make a difference in that child's life.

If some of you still are not convinced to volunteer, consider what you can receive from charity work. First, excellent health benefits can be ascertained through volunteering. Working at a clothes or canned good drive can build muscles from lifting heavy boxes. A walk for charity, such as the Walk For Hunger, can burn lots of extra calories while at the same time raise money for those who need it the most.

Of course, we should not need to consider how we would benefit from volunteer work to convince ourselves to do it. Instead we should consider how others will benefit. Our presence and help in their lives will make a difference. That should be all the convincing we need to get up, get out and volunteer.

Just do it.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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