Service CHANNEL
7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Be an Active Volunteer in Your Community
Ty Howard


 

"Volunteers are paid in six figures... S-M-I-L-E-S." ~ Gayla LeMaire


It can be hard sometimes to get motivated to be an active volunteer in your community. Many people think that they do not have the time to spend helping out; they would rather spend it with their families instead of volunteering. What these people do not realize is that volunteerism has many benefits for anyone that is interested in doing it, from individuals to families to personally assembled groups to associations or foundations.

My next door neighbor Cathy, motivated and inspired me to become an active volunteer in my community, after she told me, "Knowing that you are helping to create improvement, peace, and a safer planet is only a fraction of the pride that a volunteer feels every time they lend a helping hand." Now, I volunteer regularly in my community because it just makes me feel good about myself. I know that is easier said than done. Some of us need a much bigger push and a little more motivation than just a few words of inspiration from a neighbor. Here are 7 ways that I hope can give you a bigger push and a little more motivation to become an active volunteer in your community—starting today:

1. Think of all of the benefits.

The best way to get motivated to be an active volunteer in your community is to think of all of the benefits that come out of it. Volunteering gives you opportunities to change lives, including your own. It's is a great way to feel good about yourself, release stress, and help others in the process. Once you get involved and see how rewarding it is to volunteer in your community, you may find it hard deciding when to stop.


2. Take on the desire to improve your community.


Another way to get motivated to volunteer in your community is to simply think about how you are helping to improve your community. It can be anything from picking up trash along the road to helping with the community garden to planting flowers at the local park. All of these things help to make your community better, and not only improves the way your community looks but it improves the way that the community feels to visitors, and how the residents feel about their community as well.

A short list of things you can take part in to help bring improvements to your community
- Pick up road litter
- Mow lawns for the elderly
- Hold food drives for needy families
- Collect clothes and books to read for families
- Help the elderly, single moms or needy families with minor home repairs
- Help out at a soup kitchen
- Help out at a school
- Help out at a hospital
- Help out at a senior center
- Help out at an animal rescue shelter


These are just a few community volunteer efforts you can get involved in where you will immediately see the improvement and benefits they bring to your community. Volunteering can be difficult to get started with, but thinking of the improvements and benefits can really motivate you to step up and help out sooner verses later.


3. Gather, and volunteer as a family.

If you are looking to volunteer and have a family but do not really want to lose any of your family time due to volunteering, community volunteer opportunities are a great way to get the family together and out of the house to do something new, exciting, and rewarding. Spending time with your family and doing something positive in the process is a great motivator to get you to volunteer. It can also teach your kids responsibilities, and they will pick up useable skills while they are volunteering, too.


4. Gather, and volunteer with a group of friends.

If you are in high school or in college and want to volunteer but are having a hard time getting motivated. Gathering a group of your friends to go with you is a great way to not only help out but to also have a great time. Younger individuals are more likely to volunteer if they are going as a group. Also, a great way to get your friends interested in volunteering is to get them thinking about the benefits and community improvements. Volunteering is a great activity to add to your college applications or your resume. It shows that you are a caring and dedicated individual, and that you are willing to give up some of your free time to help out your community.


5. Join a local community based volunteer association or group.

Volunteer associations and groups are often well-organized and filled with leaders who truly know how to motivate and inspire others for the cause (the need to get the identified project or efforts done). Keep in mind that many volunteer associations and groups know that you are working individuals or that you are young and want to hang out with your friends. That is why many volunteer associations and groups only require you to volunteer for certain amounts of time rather than let you come and go as you please. So, it is up to you to be motivated and show up ready to be a contributing part of the volunteer team.


6. Challenge yourself to become more active and social in your community.

In many communities today, it's very easy to live in a home or in a town right next to other people and not know them, other than seeing them come and go. This happens to people because they knowingly or unknowingly choose to be recluse (loner) in their own community. Now is the time for you to break out and get out of your hermit state to greet and get involved in your community. Challenge and motivate yourself to become more active and social in your community.


7. Find a really good reason that rings true with you.

Many people volunteer because they want to feel useful, help someone, share a skill, challenge themselves, or gain leadership skills. If you are looking to volunteer but are having a hard time getting motivated, try to find a really good reason that rings true with you, and use that to motivate yourself. Whether you just want to help, you want to meet new people, you want to get out and become more social, or you want to learn something new; these are all great reasons to get motivated and to help out in your community!


To volunteer; is to contribute your works and goodness to humanity unselfishly—without seeking any rewards. You will be amazed at how much difference helping others and your community can make towards increasing your energy and motivation levels. As Confucius said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Similarly, the best way to get yourself going in volunteerism is by you showing up early at the very next community volunteer effort, and asking one of the people in charge, "How and where can I help out today?" This proactive, sociable, and humble approach will show you have definitely motivated yourself to get involved and become active as a volunteer in your community. Ease your way into volunteering, do not overindulge to fast. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

Here's to all volunteers, those dedicated people who
believe in all work and no pay."
~ Robert Orben



About the Author:  Ty Howard,
President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of MOTIVATION magazine

Ty Howard is an internationally recognized authority on personal, professional, relationship and habits development. He is the creator and lead facilitator of the trademarked Untie the Knots® Process, and the author of the best-selling book Untie the Knots® That Tie Up Your Life: A Practical Guide to Freeing Yourself from Toxic Habits, Choices, People, and Relationships, as well as dozens of published articles on relationships, healthy habits development, empowerment and peak performance worldwide.

For information on the author click on the following link:  
Ty Howard.

 

The MOTIVATION "Key Takeaways" for this article:


7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Be An Active Volunteer in Your Community

1. Think of all the benefits.

2. Take on the desire to improve your community.

3. Gather, and volunteer as a family.

4. Gather, and volunteer with a group of friends.

5. Join a local community based volunteer association or group.

6. Challenge yourself to become more active and social in your community.

7. Find a really good reason that rings true with you.

 

 



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