What’s wrong with volunteering?
As my life is about to take a huge turn in the right direction with the start of my career and voluntary work beginning this month, I can’t help but think, in a world that is desperate for volunteers why voluntary work seems to be only for the few and not for everybody? What’s the problem with volunteering? Why me? And why not you?
Luckily, a few years ago I finally realised my passion and the main things that I want to do with my life. My purpose in life is to help people, to help improve lives and to fight for justice, human rights and alongside those with no voices. So, obviously, I love talking about it, about aid, crisis, the news, and the world and all of the people in it. And naturally people tend to give pretty positive responses but among the questions and shock some say..
“That’s so amazing! I can’t believe you’re doing it unpaid!”
“Wow I don’t know how you do it!”
“Is that safe? Should you be doing that?”
“Ooh I could never do that. Only few people like you can!”
“How do you have the time? Shouldn’t you be actually working?”
Err well, you could do it! I don’t have the money! I make the time! Is crossing the road always safe? Which got me more thinking about the bigger question; why aren’t more people volunteering? What is the big issue surrounding helping those in need? People back at home (from my experiences in England) have all these excuses as to why they can’t volunteer. And some are fair enough, people work long days, have families, busy schedules. But if you can find the time for the gym every day, a cinema date once a month or even a night out every weekend, then guess what? You already have time to volunteer.
Volunteering is like a taboo word that makes people run away and shut their doors. But why? Volunteering can be literally anything for as many hours in the year as you want it to be. It’s fully flexible with tons of options! And you’re helping the world! Bonus.
You could volunteer by helping the homeless for the day, by helping conservation and caring for turtles in the Caribbean for two weeks, you can work some hours at the local animal sanctuary, spend 30 minutes on the phone at the Good Samaritans or even protect women from violence in India for months on end. There’s literally something for everybody! So now what’s the excuse?
For an hour in your day or a week in your year, forget safety, forget time and forget money. Being human is being selfless. If everybody gave a little something back and spent time with those more in need, then already the world would be a better place. And of course we can all take time out of our days to spare some kindness, love and humanity.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote everyday about the kind of community that you want to live in.”
So what kind of world do you want to live in? Choose to help, choose to change the world and choose to volunteer!
Here are some websites and a list of voluntary options:
•Redcross – http://www.redcross.org.uk/Get-involved/Volunteer
• Shelter – https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/volunteer
• Food bank – https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-involved/volunteer/
• Good Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org/volunteer-us
• Original volunteers – http://www.originalvolunteers.co.uk/
• GVI – https://www.gvi.co.uk/
• HelpX – https://www.helpx.net/
• Workaway – https://www.workaway.info/
• Mision Mexico – http://lovelifehope.com/
Thanks again for reading guys!
Remember to follow me and my travel adventures here on instagram @vanishamay
Vanisha May is a criminology and sociology graduate from London. She has a passion for international development and issues related to education, crisis for refugees, conflict and gender inequalities. Her dream is to travel the world while understanding, learning and resolving inequalities faced for the affected people across the globe.