Why Volunteer In The New Year

DNOConvoyWebDuring the holidays I invited a group of women to my home to talk about Convoy of Hope and their Women’s Empowerment Program. In case you haven’t read about it, I had the privilege to go to Ethiopia, meet the women and see the amazing benefits of this program in action. I wanted to share what my volunteer experience in Ethiopia had taught me with my friends and other leading women in the community, and show them the volunteer opportunities that existed within the organization.
The dynamics that come into play when women come together is profound, and I knew that the group gathered in my home was no exception. I felt confident that my friends and colleagues would join me and donate their time, treasure or talent, collectively helping Convoy of Hope empower more women. These women in Ethiopia and elsewhere will then be empowered to strengthen their own communities and call on their sisters to do the same.
When women come together nothing is impossible and the gathering in my home reinforced that for me. I know that women have to squeeze volunteer and philanthropic work in with everything else – from raising a family to running a business and advancing their earnings and careers. Keeping that in mind, I honestly think that the evening went far beyond the benefits of helping Convoy of Hope and touched on the personal and professional bonds we build along the way.
Giving back isn’t just good for the soul, it’s also good for your career. Monster.com reports that that volunteering strengthens communities, is good for your health and can even help you land a job. New, groundbreaking research from the Corporation for National and Community Service furthered that claim with evidence of a relationship between volunteering and finding employment. In fact, the study found that volunteering can increase employment prospects by helping job seekers to learn new skills, expand their networks and take on leadership roles.
Volunteering provides you with opportunities to stretch yourself and step outside of your routine. It provides the opportunity to make a positive impact on the greater community. Volunteering can also provide you with the opportunity to meet other like-minded volunteers and form relationships that could result in career and mentorship opportunities, and even friendships!
Helping other women along, and strengthening the communities we live in drives all women. It’s our nature to want to help others and volunteering with others fulfills our sense of purpose in a real and authentic way. The women gathered in my home that evening possessed the same sense of purpose, and desire to fulfill that mission that motivates us all and creates a bond between us. And who knows? Maybe a business card was passed or a lunch meeting set that will propel one of the leading women in my life forward.

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