When thinking of activities in NYC, many people’s first instinct is to jump right to food, culture, and adventure. But this is overlooking an extremely rewarding option: volunteering.People often volunteer because they need it for high school, college, research and so on. However, many fail to realize how fun and advantageous volunteering is.
I speak from experience, as I have been volunteering at the New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital for three and a half years, in addition to my volunteer experience at the American Red Cross, and a developmental school, Red Apple. Here are some things I have learned along the way that show why I encourage everyone to get involved and volunteer.
Volunteering builds bonds and creates friendships amongst coworkers. The people you volunteer and work with share similar interests with you, and as a result you begin to build relationships, connections, and attachments to people when you work together. This increases your socialization in an environment and improves both mental and physical health. Nurses and the doctors in the hospital are grateful for volunteers because they are additional members to the staff to promote the well-being of the hospital. These connections continue outside of the volunteer center and end up holding a special place in the heart of those you meet.
Aside from the relationships you build, volunteering helps bring the people you’re visiting, happiness and positivity. Places like the hospital need volunteers to bring some joy and fun in their patient’s lives. In the “Child Life” ward at the New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital, children can be very cranky and depressed from their injections and medications. If us volunteers engage with patients, even for a short amount of time, it would make them feel like they’re back at home.
Your work as a volunteer not only brings you the joy of service, but helps with your school and college experience. For school-aged children, volunteering builds social skills and develops awareness. High school students volunteer to boost their college applications, and college students volunteer to improve their job search post-graduation. Such programs benefit everyone. If you can get into a great college or accept a fantastic job offer because of your community service, why not?
With this in mind, volunteering also helps you gain new skills and experiences and qualify you for certain positions. Your experiences help towards finding jobs. By providing you with a competitive factor amongst other candidates. Regardless of whether you volunteer at a facility related to the kind of career you want, the work you do will showcase your skills, including your ability to work in a team.
One of the greatest aspects of volunteering is the fun it brings. Volunteering and freely giving your time, energy, and resources to people and causes around the world can create change on a global scale. It is amazing to think that one person’s efforts can change the life of someone else somewhere in the world. Even if it’s not helping on a global scale, just helping the person next to you can create such an impact that it would be remembered forever. Volunteering is a stress-buster at times where you forget all your worries and pain and just give back.
Volunteering is not something you can do just in NYC, but anywhere in the world. You just need to be in the right place at the right time and make some wonderful connections with friends and colleagues.