What is the greatest gift you can give? If you’re thinking money or worldly goods, you’re way off track. This gift is only yours to give. It is limited and precious. It is mysterious and elusive. It is your time.
When you become a volunteer for any cause, you are giving that precious gift.
You may well ask, why would I do that? And the answer is, although you didn’t seek a gift in return, you get one that far exceeds yours.
On a purely practical basis, studies have shown that volunteering is linked to better physical, mental and emotional health. You know the feeling when you’ve done something selflessly for somebody else. You walk away feeling straighter and taller, a smile playing around your lips, an inner glow that is yours alone. That’s what volunteering is all about.
There’s a little bit of magic about volunteering, too. To borrow from a popular song, “you raise me up to more than I can be.” Volunteering brings with it new skill sets. You may become proficient in something you never dreamed of, or believed you had to the capacity to learn. It always takes you on the path less travelled and delivers you at a destination you didn’t foresee.
Volunteering pushes you forward to meet people that you would probably never expect to meet in your daily life. They may be celebrities, or people from a different culture or those with burdens we should all know about but don’t.
Volunteering can also take you to a new career. You can’t become a volunteer without training at something, and that something might lead you to a new job.
Volunteers develop self-confidence because they build up a feeling of worthiness.
They become a lot braver when representing the interests of somebody outside of themselves or their warm circle. Volunteers who join an organization feeling shy, never stay that way.
And volunteering always brings the unexpected. Let me tell you a story about a JJunction volunteer.
How do I know this story? I got it directly from a future mother-in-law who was so excited to share the news that her son was engaged to a lovely Jewish girl he met through one of ‘those Jewish dating services’. The funny thing is, that as soon as she started telling the story I knew it was JJunction that had brought these two together.
Bec (not her real name) was a JJunction ambassador*. She loved getting out in the community and spreading the word about our organisation. She was also a whiz at attracting attention on social media and had a great strike rate when sending out invitations to people to come to our social events. She was a host at speed dating in Sydney and Melbourne and would help us host other social events in both cities. It was easy for her to move throughout the singles community. Bec was bright, intelligent, friendly, talkative and pretty. People immediately liked her sunny personality. With her help we were able attracted good crowds to our events.
One day she sent a text to a guy who had never been to one single Jewish event. In fact, this guy had never dated a Jewish girl. His mum told me “people were always giving him phone numbers of single girls and telling him to take them out. He never did. He just wasn’t interested. Then Bec sent him an email inviting him to a JJunction event. He replied to her email and arranged to meet up. Now they are engaged and I am delighted.”
If you ever needed a good reason to volunteer this has to be a motivating one for all you singles. Now we aren’t promising you’ll meet the girl or guy of your dreams but you are putting yourself in the right environment and in the right mindset.
There are lots of choices for volunteering so pick something that you are passionate about. It might be within the Jewish community or within the larger secular community. Whatever appeals to you: helping the homeless, working with special needs children, the environment or lifesaving; there is something for everyone.
Just google volunteering in your city and you’ll find some links volunteer.com.au is a great general link.
If you are looking to volunteer in our community this weekend in Melbourne Volume is holding its launch party.
Volume match potential volunteers with Jewish organisations looking for volunteers.
If you’d like to volunteer for JJunction, please click here.
- JJunction ambassador is a volunteer role within the organisation. For further details on volunteering for JJunction please click here.