Volunteering – Go to the Front of the Line!

I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in my day.  Most of it I was happy to do and had a good experience overall in doing it.  A lot of it involves counting names, people, money, and the like. If it’s an event, sometimes you get to bypass long lines and get to the main event up close and personal. Recently I did volunteer for a Tall Ships event in a seaside town and got to bypass that huge line in the picture above to see the cool Tall Ships (picture below) That can be fun! Sometimes volunteering can seem more like martyrdom and that is not okay.  In order to continue getting volunteers one must make the experience worthwhile, not only financially to the charity, organization, or cause but to the individual as well.  Many corporate events on some level use volunteers. If you work for a company and don’t have the access to overtime pay, then when you work on weekends and evenings – it’s extra for you and to the company.  Is it worth it for you?

If you are happy in your work and want to condone a good image to your work habits and character then it is worthwhile.  If the company is asking you to do it over and over and over again, with little acknowledgement than it may not be.

Charities frequently rely on volunteers to man the registration desk and silent and live auctions.  Many a fun night have I had doing the volunteer thing at such events.  The one time that stands out badly is when I had to single handily close out a silent auction – some 60 items in a room the size of a walk in closet! Guess what? I never worked for the charity again. Let’s face it – it is work.  Event planners, companies would get paid to do what most volunteers do willingly and freely.  Giving constructive feedback should always be welcome and most of the time it is.  So, go to the front of the line literally and figuratively when you volunteer – it has it’s perks indeed!