Hey, hello, what’s up? My name is Nayuka and I have a confession, I am a volunteering addict.
I have loved volunteering for as long as I can remember. I got my first taste when I was 9. My Mum volunteered at our local nursing home and I would go along and play bingo, instead of getting money though, we would get chocolates (that might not sound like much but if you are pushing 70 and have diabetes, chocolate is a huge deal.)
I’m 25 and although the kind of volunteering I do now is very different, I still get the same kick out of it. Just in case you needed an excuse to give back a little, I’ve got five for ya!
It makes you feel good
Yes, we should all be altruistic saints and do it for the love of humanity but there’s something in it for you. I’m not talking warm and fuzzies (although there definitely is that) but legit science tells us it is good for our health. This article by our mates at Pro Bono piqued my interest.
You meet other legends
I made one of my best friends while I was volunteering. Because we met volunteering, we already knew we had at least important thing in common. Since then we’ve run workshops together, shared victories and commiserations, sat on panels together and a whole bunch of other random things that you normally don’t get to do with your best mate.
I did a volunteer internship in my first year at uni. I was bright, fresh and full of first year enthusiasm. Through this internship I picked up really valuable campaigning skills that I have been able to apply to my professional life such as personal narrative and communication.
I get to work with young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people for a living. As a young Aboriginal woman myself, this is a dream gig for me. I got my foot in the door through volunteering.
After spending a few years on the volunteer youth scene, I was approached by someone and was asked if I would volunteer at a camp with 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. After falling in love with the feeling of seeing young people transform in front of me, I hounded the organisation until they gave me the job, Since then, I have sat on a board, attended UN climate change negotiations and a whole bunch of other rad stuff all because of volunteering.
It makes the world better
According to Volunteering Australia, in 2010 volunteers contributed $25.4 billion to the Australian economy. This is huge but I’m more interested in the other contributions volunteers make.
Volunteers fight fires, brighten up kids days at hospitals, campaign for positive change, challenge systems, re-vegetate degraded land, create publications, teach and so much more. They literally make the world go round and here at Doxa, we are thankful for the important work volunteers do everyday!