What do celebrities Selena Gomez, Victoria & David Beckham, Katy Perry, Emma Watson, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus & Taylor Swift have in common? All of them donate (or have donated) their time to a cause (or causes) close to their hearts. From singing to sick children in hospital, campaigning for education rights for girls in Bangladesh & Cambodia, or building schools for underprivileged kids in Guatemala – these guys CHOOSE to make a difference – in their own way – to those who need it the most.
Because celebrities have more cash than the most of us (broad assumption here!), this means that they can combine their VOLUNTEERING (spending their TIME doing something for nothing), with PHILANTHROPY (giving away money to various charities). It also means that they can do (volunteering) things on a much larger scale than the rest of us – (eg. airfares aren’t cheap – if we want to volunteer in some remote corner of the earth).
Yes famous people can put a spotlight on volunteering – and lead the way by example. The best news is, you don’t have to be a celebrity to volunteer, you can just be plain old ‘you’ and make a difference to people around you (or to animals or to the environment).
You don’t have to look far to volunteer, in fact if you were to throw a cricket ball from where you are standing at this very moment (mind the window!) you could probably find something – within the radius of where the ball hits the ground -that needs a little bit of unpaid attention. For example: helping a fellow student struggling with maths; opening the door for someone who has their hands full; putting your hand up to organise decorations for the school social; placing your name on the list for meals-on-wheels, helping that student who is being bullied. Even the simple act of picking up a stray piece of rubbish is saving our planet – all of these simple acts are a form of volunteering.
Our small regional and rural towns thrive on volunteers. Your Rotarians and Lions Club members are always actively involved in the local community and support many worthwhile charities and causes across the globe. Members volunteer their time willingly because they want to make a difference.
CFA volunteers do an amazing job helping to keep our communities and properties safe.
Local sport clubs also thrive on volunteers for example: the canteen, fund-raising, umpiring, line-marking, mowing, coaching and social events are all underpinned by passionate people donating their time to support their club. Next time they are looking for someone to help – why not give it a go?
Many Universities recognise the value of volunteers with schemes to attract these students to study with them. At University you can sometimes choose volunteering as part of your studies – and do some interesting and exciting programs abroad.
Sometimes your first major volunteer role may come about from a natural disaster – for example sand-bagging during a flood, or re-erecting fences after a fire – all of these things have a huge impact on others.
When you finish Secondary Schooling you can also volunteer abroad. From saving turtles in Mexico, teaching English in Vietnam & being a Gap Medic in the Dominican Republic. A number of organisations dedicated to volunteering can organise your adventure abroad. Have a look at the choices here: Gap Year Ideas.
Most students I know enjoy volunteering (or aren’t even aware they are doing it until I point it out), but they tend to forget one important little thing. Volunteering should always go onto your resume.
Employers LOVE to see volunteering on your resume. Why? Because it shows that you: are community minded, care about others, thoughtful and prepared to make a difference - no matter how large or small your deeds.
So next time you donate your time to something – ask yourself – how can I write about this on my resume? What skills have I developed? For help on how to write about your volunteering – I have this very helpful article (click to read more).
- If you aren’t donating your time to something – then you should look in the mirror and ask yourself: WHY?
- After all, you CAN make a difference – and that, in turn, can make you feel really good!
To wrap up, I reckon that if our celebs knew (I dunno how) that you read books to primary school students, painted the nails of senior citizens or got involved with a local community event – then they would have to be (high-five) impressed – after all, you are adopting their #valued-philosophy of freely helping others – and therefore helping to turn the world into a much better place!
Congratulations to ALL volunteers!