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Volunteering has become nothing but a résumé padder

By Omar Allam
On February 5, 2013

Local man seeks companion for roller skating, canoeing, tandem bike riding, horseback riding and other outdoor activities. This man is very active but totally blind, he needs a companion to fully participate in the sports and activities he loves and experiences at a disabilities camp"- VolunteerMatch.org
Would you be interested? Why? If you ask most young volunteers nowadays why they volunteer, most, if not all, would reply with the same answer.  "I need to look good on my résumé."
Volunteering has become a requirement for many schools and programs, and in doing so, it has lost its underlying meaning. It no longer connects with society and de-emphasizes the welfare of others. However, if volunteering was rendered more on free will and altruism, then the benefits compared to "boosting your resume" will be greater.          
By altering your reasoning from "I want to boost my résumé" to simply "I want to help people," you open the doors to so many opportunities. Your mind is transformed to allowing people to have as much of an impact on yourself as you have on them. Nonetheless, there is absolutely no downside to volunteering.
People will always tell you they love volunteering. However, the intention behind volunteering determines your experience. I encourage everyone to volunteer; there should be no excuse not to volunteer.
I know what you're going to say, but nobody spends 24 hours studying, not even the honors kids. There are many reasons to get up and start volunteering. It's okay to benefit from volunteering, such as boosting your résumé, learning more about your career interest and about yourself, but most importantly is the leading force pushing you to volunteer, which should be altruistic in nature.
There are many ways to make volunteering a wonderful experience rather than a monotonous requirement. Start off with your interests such as music, reading, gardening or even socializing.  Go to Volunteer Match.org, type in your zip code and a keyword such as music, and you will be presented with a list of all the possible volunteering activities related to the key word.
When I started volunteering, I began at Hartford Hospital in order to get into college. However, once I had my acceptance, I realized that volunteering was an immeasurable act of kindness. I realized that by taking out the personal gains such as "boosting my resume," it gave volunteering a whole new meaning
Every time I volunteer, I interact with great people; I have learned more about myself in my time volunteering than I have "behind the books." Not only do I learn about myself, I also learn something new, ranging from how to say "pillow" in Spanish, to even how an Air-Force veteran survived a jet crash.
I, now always look forward to going to volunteer; it has enlightened me and allowed me to look at the world differently. In times of good or bad, I always find that going to volunteer is something I want to do, rather than something I need to do.
I, urge everyone to try to volunteer, step out of your comfort zone and do something you'll remember for the rest of your life. If you never try it, you'll never know. Go volunteer, do something extraordinary.
 


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