Volunteering – A Resolution You Can Keep!

I know many people see January and the new year as a chance to make resolutions for the year to come.  Some want to lose weight and others want to change careers or save more money.  I like to see resolutions more as personal goals for the new year.  Things that you want to accomplish and goals that you can strive toward.

I like most feel like the new year offers me a clean slate and I do lay out personal goals for myself that I hope to accomplish throughout the year.  One goal I make every year is to give back through volunteering.  There are many excuses people come up with when it comes to the “v” word.  Well, I am here to tell you about the many benefits that come from volunteering.

Volunteering can give people a chance to explore a new career field. For a military spouse who is having a hard time finding a job – you can volunteer doing something in your field or something that you are interested in.  There is also the possibility that this could lead to a full-time paid position.  Volunteering can offer you a wide network of people and contacts that can lead to many great opportunities. You can make lasting friendships and have a ton of fun, all while increasing your experience in a career field. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area.

Volunteering can also set a good example for your family.  I have taught my kids that it is important to give back to others and to our community and one way to do that is through volunteering.  I have taken my kids to many events and functions I have volunteered for because I want them to see me giving back and model that for them.  Volunteering is also a great way to get your kids out of the house.  It is so easy nowadays for our children to get swept up in television, computers, and video games.  Give your children the opportunity to volunteer along with you and let them experience the feeling of helping others and giving back.

That is one of the biggest benefits to volunteering – the feeling of knowing that you have helped.  No matter how small or how big the project or event – you are helping!  In my book, there is nothing like the feeling of knowing that I helped someone else or I worked to improve something in my community.

This year I encourage everyone to find something that interests them and find a way to give back! You can go to your local ACS (Army Community Service) on post and they can offer you a variety of volunteer positions.  You can contact organizations such as Blue Star Families (www.bluestarfam.org) and volunteer your time to organizations working to make a difference!  Your children may enjoy such groups as the Boy and Girl Scouts.  These organizations strive to teach children about the value of volunteering and making a difference!  You can also visit Volunteers of America (www.voa.org) and Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.org).  These sites can help you find opportunities near you where you can volunteer!

So this year, find a friend or two, find an opportunity, and give back!! You will be glad you did! This is one resolution you can definitely keep and have fun at the same time!

Janet
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