In this modern society, compassion and social responsibility are the foundations in which strong women are built. Nearly every female leader has in some small way contributed to society and volunteered to learn valuable lessons not only about their communities but about leadership and human nature likewise.
The lessons these initiatives offer are priceless when it comes to their impact on women empowerment. However, to better understand the value of volunteer work for young women and how it affects their future endeavors and sensibilities greatly for the better, let’s take a closer look not only at the statistics revolving these initiatives but what these efforts teach young women and how to get involved in your own community below.
The Stats are Clear—Volunteering is Valuable
When it comes to volunteering and its many benefits, it’s safe to say that volunteering not only greatly helps those the work is created for but the ones that perform said work as well. According to a study performed by BMC Public Health in 2018, “Volunteering should be promoted by public health, education and policy practitioners as a kind of healthy lifestyle, especially for the social subgroups of elders, ethnic minorities, those with little education, single people, and unemployed people, who generally have poorer health and less participation in volunteering.”
In the study, it was found that “participation in voluntary services is significantly predictive of better mental and physical health” and that the mental health, physical health, life satisfaction, and social wellbeing of the parties that volunteered all changed for the better while their depression levels lowered substantially.
Similarly, according to a study by Van Willigen in 2000, “A second study found that, in general, volunteers report greater life satisfaction and better physical health than do non-volunteers, and their life satisfaction and physical health improves at a greater rate as a result of volunteering. At the same time, older volunteers experience greater increases in life satisfaction and greater positive changes in their perceived health as a result of their volunteer activities than do younger volunteers.”
With the health benefits aside, volunteering also significantly affects young adults’ lives by offering more opportunities for them simply based on their loyalty to the volunteerism they take part in alone. According to VolunterHub, “Those who volunteer regularly have a 27% better chance of gaining employment…60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions… [and] volunteers under the age of 24 accounts for 22.6% of all volunteers.”
These statistics, paired with the fact that women volunteer more than men according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are exactly why it is not just recommended but considered detrimental for young women in order to be successful in life. The lessons that volunteer programs teach young women and the self fulfillment that comes from these initiatives is enough to help fuel their creativity, determination, and dedication to success for years to come.
In fact, service learning has even become one of the most effective means to educate young women in America as of the last decade alone. According to Youth Service America, “82% of students who participate in service-learning say their feelings about attending high school became or would become more positive as a result of service-learning. In focus groups, teachers highlighted the value of service-learning in increasing school and classroom attendance, and other studies have shown that high quality service-learning programs have a significant impact on student attendance.”
In essence, volunteering isn’t simply a way to help out the community but to learn valuable lessons, teamwork, compassion, dedication, consistency, loyalty, and to be grateful for all that you have. These lessons are invaluable when it comes to finding success in our modern society as every leader should attain these character traits and this is one of the best and most effective ways to do so guaranteed.
What Volunteer Work Teaches Young Women
Now that the data is on display and the benefits of volunteering are clear, let’s break down exactly how these statistics correlate to young women specifically. Essentially, the main things volunteering teaches young women are dedication to a project, compassion and teamwork, how to find fulfillment within ones’ self, and how to learn and teach through action.
Firstly, being able to work on a volunteer project such as building a home for Habitat for Humanity requires patience and dedication. Since it’s not just a one-day project, this helps young women learn how to take time on the things they are passionate about to achieve the best outcomes. In the world of business, this concept can be used to complete client projects with an attention to detail or grow a business from the ground floor up successfully.
In the same sense, compassion and teamwork are both aspects of human nature that make for a great leader. Leadership must be able to not just work with their teams but also care about their clients and about their fellow human beings as well. This is how true success is measured as a sense of humility and compassion is essential in even the greatest leaders in our modern society.
Furthermore, volunteer work gives young adults a sense of purpose. For young women specifically, our modern society far too often displays a notion in young adult entertainment and social settings that you must be validated by others to actually be valid as a woman. However, with volunteer work, young women can find a sense of self in their own endeavors alone. Instead of depending on others for validation and self fulfillment, volunteerism helps young women find purpose without approval from anyone other than themselves. This concept is crucial to female entrepreneurism and industry leadership and volunteer work kindly helps to build the foundation for female volunteers with ease.
Lastly, service-learning is the equivalent of teaching your team as a leader through action in the office or work setting. This process can be slightly nerve-wracking if never done before as a new leader. However, with volunteerism which teaches young women valuable life lessons every time, this ‘learning by experience’ process can be instilled in these female leaders before they ever even run a team or business at all.
In these ways, volunteer work continues to show exactly why it is one of the most beneficial things any individual can do in their spare time and why young women especially should volunteer locally to better themselves and their implied self worth and confidence.
How to get Involved in Your Local Volunteer Programs
Now that the statistics and benefits are all broken down, the final step is to find the right volunteer program to participate in locally. The main thing to focus on is finding a project that gives you purpose and one that can be done month after month in order to create a sense of consistency and dedication to the cause within yourself.
The best ways to find volunteer programs to work with are through the volunteer website, PowerOf, the volunteer tab on Meetup, and by simply searching online for local volunteer groups with a history in your community and a direct and compassionate tie to your local area. By using these methods, you can find the right volunteer program for your needs and not just help out your local community but transform your own principles and self confidence in no time.
In the end, volunteerism is a beautiful way to become more connected to your local community and those in need within it. However, the benefits of the work clearly don’t just stop there. With this being said, perhaps, the greatest way that volunteer work can transform our world is by help young leaders find their voice and their soul in order to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. After all, it’s not about the volunteer hours you put in but rather the impact these hours have on our world that matters most.