We all know that doing community service is a ‘good’ thing to do, but do you know why? And it’s not just that you’re helping the underprivileged or the environment – there are some real tangible benefits from helping others. This article discusses 7 of them.

1. Karma
“What goes around, comes around”, “The Boomerang effect”, “Karma” – what ever you want to call it, there is mounting evidence that when you do good things, good things happen to you. The Law of Attraction explains it as attracting good by doing good, and by maintaining the flow of good positive energy.

But more logically, if you are doing good things for your community, then you’re focusing on positive attributes of yourself and others and this has real spin-offs in the form of a positive outlook on the rest of your life.

2. Perspective and Passion
I’ve learnt from personal experience, when you’re helping a young family pull together their lives after losing everything in a cyclone – you begin to understand what really matters. Community service of all kinds gives you this grounding perspective.

But from that grounding perspective comes passion. Passion to help others in the same situation and passion to protect your family and community from the same thing. And passion is such a wonderful and motivating force – you can achieve anything with passion!

3. Networking
Volunteer organizations attract people from a wide range of backgrounds and professions – students, unemployed, retirees, trades people, professionals and business executives – so volunteer organizations give you a fantastic opportunity to network!

And you never know what opportunities you’ll encounter with this new network of contacts. We managed to renovate our house for half the cost through the contacts we’ve met in our community work! Not to mention, that’s where I met my lovely partner!

4. Understanding People
Inevitably, community work involves working with other people – whether it’s other community workers or the people you’re helping. So the ability to communicate and understand these people is paramount for your own sanity, and of course your effectiveness.

And because the people in volunteer organizations come from a diverse background, you get to develop communication skills with a wide range of personalities. You can’t pay for emotional intelligence training like this!

5. Learn New Skills
As community work actually involves doing something, you will gain skills in the particular ‘something’ of the organization you’ve joined. Whether it’s tree planting, first aid and rescue skills, counseling, organizing, planning or even blanket knitting – you WILL learn something new.

And some skills such as first aid and planning and organizational skills you’ll find helpful in other aspects of your life too!

6. Contribution to the greater good
Don’t forget the big warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you know you’ve made a contribution – whether it’s the environment or humanitarian causes, it all contributes to the greater good.

7. Your legacy
How do you want to be remembered? What do you want to see written on your tombstone or in your obituary?

We all want to be remembered as something special – a loving partner and parent, a successful career, a passion. But a community minded spirit is the BEST legacy.

So how can YOU help?

Well you can start by telling people about how you or someone you know contribute to the community or environment – even if this contribution seems small – and inspire others to do the same. Or read about what other people are doing and give them a boost by posting a supportive comment. Just click here to share your story or post a comment about someone else’s experience.

And of course, you can get more involved with your community or an environmental cause – you’ll marvel at the difference just one person, YOU, can make. Here are some ideas to get started...

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