Help Ourselves by Helping Others

AUTHOR: Rana Shenawi, Guest Blogger

While Rana S. has been volunteering for Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area for just a few months, she has been deeply impacted by her service to others.  So when we asked her to share her thoughts about volunteering with the LSS/NCA community, it’s no surprise that Rana’s infectious nature and love of service came shining through.  Here, in her own words, is Rana’s take on service. If this doesn’t inspire others to follow-suit, we’re not sure what will…

volunteerIt’s eye opening to realize that doing small things can have a big impact on others. From offering to play with puppies and kittens at an animal shelter to building a community compost pile with produce scraps, giving back to your community affects more than the lives around you. It also affects you! And while the list of reasons and benefits of volunteering is too long to list, here are four simple reasons to give service a try:

Making a difference

Volunteering gives you the chance to create the kind of community and world you want to live in. It allows you to find community and be part of something bigger than yourself. Thinking about ways to use your skills or passions to make someone else’s life better can add new meaning and purpose to your life. Don’t just talk about the way you wish the world could be, you have the opportunity to help make it happen.

 Learning new skills

Volunteering can help you learn new skills and gain experience. You can challenge yourself to try something different and discover hidden talents—whether that be practicing a new language, expanding your knowledge of nursing or sharing your passion for storytelling with others.  There is no shortage of needs and no task too big or too small that it won’t make a difference for someone.  Something as simple as providing a ride to a job interview for someone can be the first step in changing the course of their entire life.

Meeting new and inspiring people

Volunteering helps you connect with people from all walks of life and with different backgrounds, personalities and interests. This not only expands your network, but also develops your interpersonal skills. Being able to connect with people and listen to their perspective changes how you view the world and the people in it. We have an obligation to expand our horizon as far as it can go. To break down barriers and create connection and community.

Having fun

Volunteering is fun! Take a friend, your mom or a neighbor! When you become a volunteer, you are not only giving your time, but your mind and heart. You get back more than you put in. In all my days volunteering, I have never left without a smile on my face Regardless of your motivation, giving your time creates good for everyone.

There are boundless opportunities to serve boldly. To connect and meet and share. To give back. And to receive in return. Find something that tugs on your heart strings! Looking for a way to serve? Join us for Into the Streets Saturday, May 6 for a community-wide day of service. We need your help. register here: http://bit.ly/2pDrm4u

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