As if working 40+ hours in a week at the shelter wasn’t enough for me, I more often than not find myself volunteering for something dog related on the weekends (as you can tell from this blog). I keep asking myself when the day will be that I burn out – but so far there is no sign of that. I absolutely love doing all the things I sign myself up for. There are so many perks to volunteering, no matter what cause you’re helping with. There’s got to be a reason why I continually offer my time to help these animals, and believe me – the “good feeling” isn’t always it. Check out a few reasons why I find volunteering so awesome:
1. It’s usually FUN! I wouldn’t sign myself up for something I thought wouldn’t be enjoyable. Volunteer opportunities are often a great time to meet new people, hang out with animals (or kids or new adults, whatever your cause may be), and help with activities you’re interested in. Not surprisingly, there is a reason why thousands upon thousands of people across their country donate their time – because it’s fun!
2. You get to open the world up for an animal. This generally only applies to bringing animals to adoption events, but boy is it one of the best parts! I brought this adorable cutie to an event on Saturday, and I can almost guarantee it was the first time she’d been in a place with so many new sites and smells. She’s a versatile little thing, so she loved it (it’s important to keep in mind some dogs may not). Plus then she slept like a baby when she went back to the shelter that night!
3. You make really great friends. Hands down one of the best things about being so involved in the sheltering/rescue community the past year and half has been the friends I’ve met. Whether through work, through fostering, or through volunteering – it’s amazing the amount of people you meet and click with when you’re doing something you love! Well, I guess it’s not that surprising considering most of us do it for similar reasons, but it’s still an awesome perk. I know I have made some friends for life through doing this. Volunteering can be a very social experience!
4. Once you put in time doing what’s needed, you can spend time doing what’s wanted. After a day of volunteering on Saturday, I found myself curled up on the floor of the shelter offices with this handsome boy named Admiral once all my duties were finished. Often times if you’re volunteering at an event you have an allotted time you’re needed for help, and then some down time to do what you want.
Here’s a hint: it’s the perfect way to get into an event for free! Don’t take this the wrong way because obviously I don’t want people mooching off rescue groups, BUT I have definitely seen folks who can’t afford to attend an event themselves (usually a gala type or something similar) offer to volunteer so they can still experience the evening while helping out. It’s a win-win for the organization! Plus I have seen volunteers still donate to raffles or buy merchandise, etc. to do their part (in addition to giving their time – did I mention volunteers are awesome!?).
5. Resume booster! Volunteering shows that you’re willing to give up your own time for a greater cause, and that can be very appealing to a potential employer. Not to mention there are a lot of skills to be learned as a volunteer, depending on what exactly you’re helping with. Don’t think that just because you’re not getting paid means it might not be great experience for a job position!
6. The “good feeling.” It’s pretty obvious that most people volunteer at least in part because they know how much it helps, and doing your part sure makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I certainly cannot complain about spending an afternoon spreading the word about adoption with a pup who was grateful to get out of the shelter. Sure I could have been out shopping with my friends or relaxing at home, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to try and get more animals adopted.
I know I’ve spammed you with this message enough on the blog. . . but consider volunteering! There are so many groups out there who could use your help. Volunteers are absolutely invaluable to most non-profits.