Why Even Volunteer?
The word 'volunteering' is thrown around a lot as something that is time-consuming and oftentimes boring. We want you to know that you don't need to go far to make a difference. If you're looking for a good reason to do good, we'll give you several!
What is volunteering, actually?
If we’re going to give you the volunteering handbook, we better start from the beginning. What in the world does volunteering even mean? According to the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, volunteering is “work done in any organized context (…) without obligation and without pay for other people or the community.” This also means that volunteering should not be seen as an alternative to paid work, but rather as a complimentary feature that should be optional.
Volunteering can be:
Helping someone at the supermarket
Offering to teach someone a new skill
Picking up trash on the street
Carrying someone’s heavy bags for them
If you do good in general, you might already be a volunteer without even knowing it.
Well, a whole lot of people. Just in the Netherlands, almost half of the country does it at least once a year. And the volunteers’ ages are pretty well distributed, meaning that the younger and the older seem to be equally involved.
So let’s start breaking our first stereotype: volunteering is NOT something unusual, out of the ordinary. And so it happens that if you’ve helped someone this year, out of free will and without pay, guess what? You’ve volunteered!
The problem is that people think volunteering looks like this:
When volunteering actually looks like this: