Volunteering has to be one of the most rewarding activities out there. There is something overwhelmingly pleasant about helping others. Don’t get me wrong, there are activities (e.g., door-to-door money collection and sales) that are difficult. But, the overall sense of accomplishment that comes from helping a specific cause, is just unreal.

While in Ottawa, I’ve had many opportunities to volunteer. It seems that those residing in large urban centers can find a volunteer activity for every day of the week. Given my various commitments at home, school and work, I’ve tried to limit my volunteering to one-day events (e.g., sports, road races, etc.).

Volunteer Ottawa is a great service that helps match up volunteers with volunteer opportunities. I’ve used this service on a number of occasions, and I don’t have one negative thing to say.

Seeing the value in this type of service, a friend and I have set up something similar for St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s called Volunteer St. John’s. It has shown considerable growth since its inception, and is something that I am quite proud of. Check it out! 

Here’s a little excerpt from that site, on the benefits of volunteering:

“Reasons for volunteering can vary from one person to the next. Some of the more common reasons why people volunteer include:

  • having fun;
  • needing a sense of belonging;
  • gaining recognition;
  • meeting people and building relationships;
  • developing skills to help your career;
  • joining a friend or family member who volunteers;
  • helping the community and those in need; and
  • looking for a new challenge.

There are countless other reasons why people volunteer. We will add to our list from time to time!”