For many people, community and public service is the last thing on their minds – with work and families and social life who has the time? In fact, even students who get the chance to participate in community service pass it up to do things that they consider more glamorous. There are many benefits to taking some time off to serve as a volunteer. The first and most important, of course, is that it makes a difference to your community. Whether you are collecting litter out in your city or helping the folks in the old people’s home you are providing a valuable service that your community needs. There are additional reasons why you should spend some time volunteering:

You gain experience, which is especially relevant to young people. Many of them get frustrated when employers will not give them jobs because they don’t have experience. What they don’t realize is that if they got off the couch and volunteered in different places they would gain the experience that employers are looking for – most of them just want to see that you have been a part of something larger than yourself, at least for that first job.

You are exposed to opportunities. When you volunteer two things happen – you get to learn how to undertake different jobs, however menial, but you also meet the people who give you those opportunities. Most of these people know other people and if you do your community service in an impressive manner they will not hesitate to recommend you to their contacts for permanent and paying jobs.

Studies have shown that students who volunteer on a regular basis tend to do better academically. The science behind it is not clear, but if you have been struggling in class you may want to spend some time helping pout in your community and see whether it helps.

People who do community and public service often tend to have higher self-esteem. It is the same as giving charity – just the act of knowing that you are helping someone helps you feel better about yourself. In fact, if you are going through a negative spell or experiencing depression you should get out there and volunteer – it will cheer you up.

Public and community service is a great way to strengthen your community. If you are working at the daycare or the old people’s home you are helping to support families. If you enroll to volunteer in an educational institution you help improve your schooling system. If you become a mentor you help support the youth and if you take part in clean-up campaigns you are helping your community become more beautiful. In other words, whatever you choose to volunteer in will have a positive effect on your community one way or another.

It is still early enough in the year for you to go out and sign up to volunteer. Do not put it off either – if you do that it only becomes harder to sign up.

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