At the end of the day, most people want to know they have lived meaningful lives and have contributed in some way to making the world a better place. As a young professional, you have the ability to make meaningful contributions in large and small ways to individuals and to your community at large, through a variety of volunteer possibilities.

Opportunities Abound
Most non-profit entities have ongoing openings for volunteers. There are organizations for everyone’s taste. Whether you have an affinity for animals, babies, elderly people, or you enjoy crunching numbers, there is a place for you to volunteer. The opportunities are literally endless.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Commitments
If you have attempted to apply for a job only to be turned down because you have little or no experience, you understand the value of accepting a long-term volunteer position in an applicable field. For some, such a commitment may not be worth their time. On the other hand, with a volunteer position, not only are you gaining experience, you are broadening your networking base. You meet new people, maybe even some in key positions, and you acquire more knowledge in your chosen profession. In some instances, these volunteer positions soon lead to permanent employment.

Not everyone has the time or the inclination to make a long-term commitment to a voluntary position. Short-term or one-time opportunities fit into most schedules. They provide variety and can potentially lead to bigger and better opportunities. 

Meaningful, Healthy Living
Volunteering is an altruistic act that can provide dividends, in some fashion, for the volunteer. You can use volunteering to occupy time, learn something new, meet new people, socialize or for any number of reasons. 

Cultivating a mindset that values volunteerism not only provides you with a pathway to create a more meaningful life, it has health benefits as well. People who volunteer are less likely to be depressed; they stay more active physically and mentally. While this may not be an issue for younger adults, as you age it becomes important. 

Stress levels can also be reduced through volunteering. The act of helping another has the added benefit of lowering stress hormones. As you spend time in service to others, you will gain an appreciation for other work you are doing and for those you are helping. 

JCI St. Paul is proud to help its members find meaningful opportunities to serve in their communities. The work we do nurtures the growth of community leaders and helps establish lifetime friendships. If you are new to the Jaycees, contact us for more information about what we do and discover volunteer opportunities.