‘Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.’ At AODI, one thing stands out for our volunteers, they not only have reported making an impact, but they have also acquired new skills, held conversations centered around advancing their careers, made great friends, and have not felt happier than when they are volunteering.

A famous quote by Elizabeth Andrew goes thus; ‘Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.’ At AODI, one thing stands out for our volunteers, they not only have reported making an impact, but they have also acquired new skills, held conversations centered around advancing their careers, made great friends, and have not felt happier than when they are volunteering.

Group of happy young volunteers at work.

As is the case with most people, we would always wonder why the need to be physically involved and not just donate money, why the need to dedicate time and skills to a cause we feel great about, are we merely volunteering to kill time? (in the popular Nigerian parlance), but hey really, Why volunteer?

I know you must be busy with your life, career, finance, a kid, and family, but that’s the point. Who isn’t busy in today’s world? The benefits of volunteering cannot be overemphasized. Think about all the chaos in our world today and in your local community. Have you ever lain in bed and wished there was something you could do to make the world a bit safer, kinder, or better – well, that opportunity is what volunteering affords you.

Quick reasons to volunteer (especially with AODI )

Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of volunteering other than the impact you wish you could make.

  1. Meaningful connections: being a volunteer allows you to impact your local community and the world with others. When you volunteer for worthy causes, you not only impact the lives of the people you make direct or indirect contacts with, you form meaningful connections. One of the greatest teams I have met in my not-so-little lifetime on earth is the guys in my team. Working on the same team with them has helped widen my view of life. Their connections no longer stop at the level of volunteering but have transcended into our career and personal lives. With this team, I have gained a community of like-minded individuals, and we’ve built trust and openness – one of the virtues lacking in our world today. So, while trying to impact the lives of my community through a cause I believe so much in, I have made connections that have changed my life.
  2. Friends who become family: At AODI, everyone who aligns with the mission and vision of the organization automatically becomes family. It is proven that committing to a shared activity together helps strengthen new and existing relationships. Volunteering to a cause is a great way to meet new and exciting people, and it also allows you to meet great individuals who will potentially change your view about certain areas of life. Unlearning and relearning becomes achievable when you can get hands-on experiences to learn from – volunteering gives you that opportunity. The world is your oyster, my friend; grab your search tool and look for worthy causes around you that you can volunteer with today, but first, check out the goals of AODI (Click here) and see if we are an excellent fit for you too.
  3. Volunteering benefits your mind and body: nothing helps you relieve stress like a meaningful connection to another person. Being able to help another individual or animal has been proven to have a significant effect on your overall well-being. When you volunteer for a cause, you will find yourself in regular contact with others, which will help you build a support system that will help you combat depression. We are humans, and no matter how hard life throws lemons at us, we are wired to give to others.
  4. Boost your self-confidence: Volunteering for a cause you believe in boosts your self-confidence. Imagine being a salesperson for a product you developed yourself and having facts about its effectiveness. Did you see what we did there? Yes, how did you feel? Courageous yes? You could see yourself convincing anyone who cares to listen about the benefit of your product. Doing good for others and your local community gives you a natural sense of pride and accomplishment, and the better you feel about yourself, the more you look at life through a positive lens.
  5. Discover your sense of Purpose: Being a volunteer will infuse a sense of purpose in you. Volunteering helps you find new meaning and guidance in life. As a volunteer, you’re more focused on the worries of others in your community, which means that in almost no time, you’ll discover your mind has been off your worries.
  6. Career advancement: Volunteering can help you advance your career. While volunteering at AODI, I have met and made connections with people who successfully transitioned into a sector I have been battling to transition into. Okay, let’s say you’re not looking at a career change; volunteering will help you practice essential workplace skills like communication, giving and receiving feedback, teamwork, project planning, and a host of others. The best way to gain efficient and internationally recognized standards of working in any sector is at a nonprofit because everyone although volunteering brings their best foot forward. Case in view is my experiences at AODI.
  7. Learn valuable skills: Volunteering teaches you valuable job skills that are not basic. These skills set you apart from other applicants. Many volunteering opportunities grant you access to extensive training and resources.
  8. Build more skills: Volunteering also helps you build upon existing skills. Most of the time, people think they need to gain skills to volunteer. Well, this guide is intended to change your mindset about that. There is probably no skill you possess that isn’t useful to a nonprofit organization – stop waiting and sign up to volunteer those skills.
  9. Gain New experiences: Have you ever considered that volunteering allows you to gain experience in a new field before making a pivotal change in your career? Your volunteer experiences expose you to professional organizations that could benefit your career.
  10.  Come have fun: As you already know, volunteering brings all the fun you can think of to your life. Yes, it is incredible when you think of all the fun you can have while volunteering. You are provided with an escape from your daily routine, and the activities you are engaged in could be one of the things you look forward to participating in. The creativity you are allowed to deploy while volunteering can also spill into your life’s personal and professional aspects.

Volunteering encourages your passion and positivity, and these are the only requirements to become a volunteer. Your skills will also benefit the organization, but remember that an essential condition is to bring your compassion while volunteering.

Location and time should also not be a deterrent to prospective volunteers. In today’s digital age, many community-led nonprofits need help with graphic designs, writing, web-related tasks, and perhaps even emailing. There will always be a place for every volunteer.

If you wish to volunteer with AODI, here’s a direct link to our website http://africaofourdreaminitiative.org, you can also click here to fill out our volunteer application form and we will be sure to contact you right away.

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