What is a Volunteer?
It is someone who chooses to act in recognition of a need, with an attitude of social responsibility and without concern for monetary profit. Not everything done by volunteers is labeled as volunteering. In a school, it might be called service learning, community service or an internship. In professional society, it may be referred to as pro bono. In the streets, it is called neighbourliness. At church it is referred to as lay ministry. In a group of peers, it may be self-help and in a protest it would be called activism.
Why do People Volunteer?
Some have chosen to become involved so they can provide a needed service, solve a problem or advance a worthy cause. Others often look for personal development. Many volunteer for both altruistic and personal reasons. People make contacts, learn skills, gain work experience, build self-esteem, improve their health, and sometimes find paying jobs. Some people have turned their lives around through volunteer work. Volunteers do not work for money; they work for less tangible but equally important forms of remuneration such as satisfaction, appreciation and the opportunity to build skills. Volunteers are seeking increasingly meaningful responsibilities and interesting tasks – the community must therefore find ways to meet these needs.