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The Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteers Add Value to the Community

What are the benefits of volunteering? Most of us recognize the tremendous value of volunteerism to society. Every day, thousands of volunteers support education, outreach, service, government and compassionate causes throughout the country. For 2021, the monetary value of volunteer time was determined to be $28.54 per hour (independent sector). This value is used by many organizations to represent the economic contribution of volunteers to the community.

Volunteers Benefit from their Service

While the benefits of volunteering are well accepted, what we may not have considered are the benefits to the volunteers themselves. In fact, volunteering provides several positive outcomes for volunteers. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is increased social connections. Volunteers are able to meet like-minded individuals and develop new friendships through their service (United Way.org). Serving together is also a great way to strengthen existing relationships through the shared experience of helping others. Secondly, volunteering often involves learning new skills that can translate effectively to the working world, adding strength to one’s resume. Virtually every volunteer experience involves employability skills such as teamwork, communication and problem-solving (wcsu.edu). A third benefit can be categorized as an improved sense of emotional and mental well-being. Research supports measurable increases in self-confidence, reduced stress levels, decreased incidence of depression and increased sense of purpose resulting from volunteerism (happiness.com).

Become an Orange County 4-H Volunteer

If you are looking for a meaningful way to volunteer your time and impact the lives of children and families in Orange County, then I encourage you to consider  4-H. 4-H community clubs provide youth ages 5-18 with the opportunity to learn new things, gain valuable life skills, achieve recognition, give back to the community and form positive social connections. Some clubs focus on a particular area of interest (project) while others are more general in nature with members working on a variety of different project areas. 4-H members hold leadership roles in their clubs and take ownership for the direction and activities of the club under the guidance of the adult volunteers. Orange County 4-H Agents and staff provide the necessary training and support for new and experienced club volunteers. We are currently recruiting volunteers for the 2021-22 program year, which will begin on September 1. Please email orange@ifas.ufl.edu or call 407-254-9200 to learn how you can become an Orange County 4-H volunteer.